A Collective Response to Mass Violence: Reparations and Healing in Cambodia, in Bringing the Khmer Rouge to Justice: Prosecuting Mass Violence Before the Cambodian Courts

BRINGING THE KHMER ROUGE TO JUSTICE: PROSECUTING MASS VIOLENCE BEFORE THE CAMBODIAN COURTS, The Edwin Mellen Press, 2005

Santa Clara Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-02

19 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2006  

Jaya Ramji-Nogales

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Beth Van Schaack

Stanford Law School

Abstract

This piece (authored by Jaya Ramji-Nogales) examines an area long neglected in current discussions of Khmer Rouge accountability-reparations for victims. It discusses the Khmer Rouge tribunal law's silence on this matter and presents several arguments, drawing on international human rights law, for the tribunal's awarding of reparations notwithstanding this textual blindspot. The chapter then reviews the various goals reparations can achieve-restitution, rehabilitation, and reconciliation; the types of reparations that can be awarded; and the mechanisms, individual versus collective, that can be used to distribute reparations. Turning to the Cambodian context, it emphasizes the need for a comprehensive study to understand the opinions of Cambodians with respect to reparations. The piece concludes by suggesting several alternative approaches to reparations that are sensitive to Cambodian attitudes and the unique Cambodian cultural context.

The chapter comes from a book (co-edited by Beth Van Schaack and Jaya Ramji-Nogales) that explores the legal issues surrounding accountability for the crimes of the Khmer Rouge and crimes of mass violence more generally. Comprising chapters authored by legal academics, lawyers, historians, artists, and others, the volume analyzes the complex problems inherent to such accountability efforts, and presents novel ideas as to how to address them. Three chapters examine aspects of accountability from the Cambodian and/or Theravada Buddhist perspective, a viewpoint that has rarely been considered before in this context. Other chapters present explanations for the failure of past accountability efforts, discuss holes in the law authorizing a tribunal for senior Khmer Rouge leaders, and outline the evidence available and how it can be used for such a trial. In addition to examining accountability in Cambodia from multiple perspectives, the book presents questions and ideas that affect all efforts to hold perpetrators accountable after widespread human rights violations. One particularly ground-breaking chapter questions the focus on top leadership in genocide trials, using Cambodia as a case study, and other chapters point to new directions in amnesty and reparations scholarship and practice. The book is accompanied by an online appendix of primary documents relevant to past, current and future accountability mechanisms in Cambodia.

Keywords: Cambodia, reparations, international criminal law, hybrid tribunals, Khmer Rouge, transitional justice

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Ramji-Nogales, Jaya and Van Schaack, Beth, A Collective Response to Mass Violence: Reparations and Healing in Cambodia, in Bringing the Khmer Rouge to Justice: Prosecuting Mass Violence Before the Cambodian Courts. BRINGING THE KHMER ROUGE TO JUSTICE: PROSECUTING MASS VIOLENCE BEFORE THE CAMBODIAN COURTS, The Edwin Mellen Press, 2005; Santa Clara Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=923359

Jaya Ramji-Nogales (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-6430 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.temple.edu/contact/jaya-ramji-nogales/

Beth Van Schaack

Stanford Law School ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650 498 6526 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.stanford.edu/directory/beth-van-schaack/

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