Worth the Effort? Assessing the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
Diane Orentlicher, Worth the Effort? Assessing the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, J. Int'l Crim. Just, Forthcoming
22 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2020 Last revised: 19 Feb 2021
Date Written: 2020
Every international war crimes court has attracted controversy, but none more than the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Now in its twilight years, the ECCC has sparked robust debate since the late 1990s, before it was even launched. During negotiations aimed at creating the court, governments, United Nations (UN) officials, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) debated whether a tribunal acceptable to Cambodia would be worthy of UN support. More than thirteen years after it began operating, the fulcrum of debate today is whether the ECCC was ‘worth the effort’ it has required. There is scant debate about its flaws, above all the Cambodian government’s brazen interference in case selection. More difficult to assess — and the focus of this Article — is whether the ECCC’s performance has justified the risks the UN knowingly assumed when it agreed to create the tribunal in partnership with Cambodia.
Keywords: ECCC, Khmer Rouge, Cambodia, Transitional Justice
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