A New Model of International Criminal Procedure?: The Progress of the Duch Trial at the ECCC
Posted: 22 Dec 2009
Date Written: November 2009
Much has been written about the trial procedure at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), particularly its civil law orientation and its novel aspects when compared to the relatively consistent procedural approach adopted by the ad hoc Tribunals and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Several months into the first ECCC trial, many of the procedural innovations, which attracted the attention of commentators, are now being put into practice. Moreover, as the original end-date for the trial has come and gone, despite the numerous admissions of the accused, the Chamber has developed procedural restrictions in an attempt to speed up the trial proceedings. Although a definitive assessment of the ECCC's procedural approach will only become possible at the end of this first trial, a mid-term review is warranted. This is particularly so in light of the evolution of the role of civil parties in the proceedings, given that the participation of victims in international criminal proceedings remains in its early stages.
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