Fulfilling the Mandate of National Reconciliation in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) – An Evaluation through the Prism of Victims’ Rights

In: International Criminal Law Review
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  • 1 University of Oxford, UK

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The central theme of this article is to assess whether the mandate of national reconciliation has been fulfilled in the ECCC. Recent retreats in the scope of victims’ participatory rights reveal a palpable gap between the Court’s rhetorical promises and the manifested reality. This article begins with providing some justifications for the primitive role given to national reconciliation. Then, in traversing the evolution of international criminal justice, this article highlights its departure from the traditional model of the exclusive retributive justice paradigm. Rather, there is a synergy of the retributive justice and the restorative justice paradigms within international criminal trials in the 21st century. The expanded role of victims in proceedings and the ECCC reparation regime will then be examined in this context. This article will thereafter emphasize the recurrent themes that could promote victims’ rights and herald the fulfilment of national reconciliation.

  • 13)

    Jasini, supra note 2.

  • 14)

    ECCC, Prosecutor v. Kaing Guek Eav “Duch”, Decision on Civil Parties’ Co-Lawyers’ Joint Request for a Ruling on the Standing of Civil Parties Lawyers to make Submissions on Sentencing and Directions Concerning the Questioning of the Accused, Experts and Witnesses Testifying on Character, Trial Chamber, No. 001/18-07-2007/ECCC/TC, 12 October 2009, <www.eccc.gov.kh/sites/default/files/documents/courtdoc/E72_3_EN. pdf>, 29 June 2012.

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  • 27)

    Agreement, supra note 9.

  • 35)

    ICTR, Prosecutor v. Kambanda, Trial Chamber I, No. ICTR-97-23-S, 4 September 1998, para. 28, <www.ictr.org/ENGLISH/cases/kambanda/judgment/kambanda.html,> 29 June 2012.

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  • 54)

    Kerr, supra note 44.

  • 55)

    Vinjamuri and Snyder, supra note 28.

  • 67)

    Vinjamuri and Snyder, supra note 28.

  • 69)

    Stahn and Kleffner, supra note 61, p. 216.

  • 75)

    Bottigliero, supra note 52, p. 37.

  • 78)

    Renée Lettow Lerner, ‘The Intersection of Two Systems: An American on Trial For an American Murder in the French Cour D’assises,’ U. Ill. L. Rev. (2001) 791.

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  • 83)

    Lerner, supra note 78.

  • 84)

    Code, supra note 81, Articles 312 and 346.

  • 86)

    Liesbeth Zegveld, ‘Victims’ Reparations Claims and International Criminal Courts: Incompatible Values?,’ 8 J. Int’l Crim. Just. (2010) 79.

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  • 87)

    ECCC, Internal Rules, supra note 22, Rule 23 quinquies (1)(a) provides that “if an accused is convicted, the Chambers may award only collective and moral reparations to civil parties. Collective and moral reparations for the purpose of these rules are measures that acknowledge the harm suffered by civil parties as a result of the commission of the crimes for which an accused is convicted”.

  • 89)

    McGonigle (2009), supra note 20, pp. 132-133.

  • 93)

    ICC, The Prosecutor v. Dyilo, Judgment on the Appeal of Mr. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo Against the Decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I, The Appeals Chamber, No. ICC-01/04-01/06, 13 February 2007, p. 13.

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  • 94)

    ICC, Prosecutor v. Lubanga Dyilo, Decision on Victims’ Participation, Trial Chamber I, No. 01/04-01/06-1119, 18 January 2008, para. 101.

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  • 98)

    ICC, Prosecutor v. Lubanga Dyilo, Decision of the Appeals Chamber on the Joint Application of Victims a/0001/06 to a/0003/06 and a/0105/06 concerning the “Directions and Decision of the Appeals Chamber” of 2 February 2007, The Appeals Chamber, No. ICC-01/04-01/06 OA8, 13 June 2007, para. 19 (per Judge Pikis, in a concurring opinion).

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  • 100)

    ECCC, Internal Rules, supra note 22, Rule 21(1)(a).

  • 102)

    ECCC, Internal Rules, supra note 22, Rule 80(2).

  • 104)

    Decision, supra note 101.

  • 106)

    Decision, supra note 101.

  • 108)

    ICC, Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Judgment on the appeals of The Prosecutor and The Defence against Trial Chamber I’s Decision on Victims’ Participation of 18 January 2008, The Appeals Chamber, No. ICC-01/04-1/06-1432 OA 9 OA 10, 11 July 2008, paras. 54-58.

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  • 110)

    Decision, supra note 101, para. 61.

  • 114)

    Decision, supra note 101, para. 49.

  • 116)

    ICC, Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Decision on “Indirect victims”, Trial Chamber I, No. ICC-01/04-01/06-1813, 8 April 2009, para. 49; Decision, supra note 101, para. 32.

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  • 117)

    Decision, supra note 101, para. 93.

  • 120)

    ECCC, Internal Rules, supra note 22, Rule 12 bis (h) provides that “the Victims Support Section shall …undertake outreach activities related to Victims, especially Civil Parties”.

  • 125)

    McGonigle (2009), supra note 20, pp. 132-133.

  • 127)

    McGonigle (2009), supra note 20, pp. 132-133.

  • 128)

    Sperfeldt, supra note 126.

  • 129)

    Rome Statute, supra note 74, Article 75(2).

  • 131)

    Bottigliero, supra note 52, p. 227.

  • 135)

    Bottigliero, supra note 52, p. 229.

  • 137)

    Sperfeldt, supra note 126.

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