Trial Process at the ECCC: The Rise and Fall of the Inquisitorial Paradigm in International Criminal Law?
S Meisenberg & I Stegmiller (eds), The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: Assessing their Contribution to International Criminal Law (T.M.C. Asser Press, 2016)
50 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2014 Last revised: 26 Jan 2016
Date Written: April 19, 2014
The adherence to the 'inquisitorial model' is what distinguishes the criminal procedure in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts Cambodia (ECCC) from that in all other international and hybrid tribunals. The ECCC's experience in the two trials concluded thus far (Case 001 and Case 002/01) allows testing the suggestion, implied in the critiques of the adversarial process in the ad hoc tribunals, that the inquisitorial process may be more suitable for the investigation and prosecution of international crimes. The promise of more efficient and streamlined trials at the ECCC has not been evidently fulfilled and the question is what this means for the future of the 'inquisitorial' model in international criminal procedure. The Chapter first examines the ECCC's procedural system through a comparative prism and then analyzes its trial practice in the first two cases, with a focus on trial management and modes of examining witnesses. The Cambodia Tribunal's ‘procedural legacy’ throws empirical light on the abstract debates about the preference for either the 'adversarial' or the 'inquisitorial' approach and has implications for the contest between the two main models of procedure in the realm of international criminal justice.
Keywords: ECCC, legacy, trial, inquisitorial model, trial management, severance, thematic approach, witness examination
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