Competing Perceptions of Hybrid Justice: International v. National in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts in Cambodia
iCourts Working Paper Series No. 110, 2017
29 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2017 Last revised: 14 Jan 2019
Date Written: December 18, 2017
Mixing insights from critical sociology and legal scholarship, this article analyses the diverging professional interests at play in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and examines how they affect the Chambers’ application of the law. The article shows that judicial interpretation in the ECCC is influenced by two non-legal factors. One is the overall shared interest of the competing groups of professionals occupying the Chambers that the Khmer Rouge leaders are tried before an internationalised rather than purely a domestic court. The other is the profound power battle between the international and the national constituents of the ECCC. In a broader context, the findings of the article point to a fundamental divide between an international market of criminal lawyers promoting a very specific idea of international criminal justice and the local context this market purports to cater to.
Keywords: international criminal law, hybrid justice, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), sociology of law, legal interpretation
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