Land Grabbing in Cambodia As a Crime Against Humanity – Approaches in International Criminal Law
Verfassung und Recht in Übersee, Law and politics in Africa / Asia / Latin America, 48 (2015), 469 - 491
23 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2016
Date Written: 2015
In October 2014, a communication was filed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague according to Art. 15 Rome Statute. Therein, senior officials of the Kingdom of Cambodia are accused of systematic land grabs that could constitute human rights abuses and because of gravity and extent could have amounted to crimes against humanity, Art. 7 Rome Statute.
Due to the fact that land grabbing continues to be an issue of concern both from a legal and from a global development perspective, the communication filed to the ICC raises the general question about proper legal mechanisms for regulation of awards and lack of respect for land rights. This article appraises the specific case of Cambodia with domestic elites as possible immediate land grabbers, including the definition and history of land grabbing and of Cambodia as such, as well as national and international law regulating investment in farmland. Furthermore it focuses on the communication filed to the ICC by examining requests from Art. 7 Rome Statute. The article considers the scope and factual requirements of crimes against humanity in the specific case of land grabbing. It additionally questions international criminal law as a proper protection mechanism in cases where domestic legal proceedings are unable or unwilling to prosecute alleged perpetrators. The article intends to detect a link between international investment and international crimes and recommends further discussion on land grabbing and possible deterrent effects arising from international criminal investigations.
Keywords: International Criminal Law, Crimes against Humanity, Land grabbing, International Criminal Court
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