Event: Khmer Rouge tribunal, “Civil Parties” & the Cambodian diaspora’

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ACJC Research Seminar Series

23 October: Dr. Rachel Hughes (University of Melbourne), ‘The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, “Civil Parties” and the Cambodian diaspora’

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, also known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), is the hybrid international criminal tribunal seeking justice for the victims of crimes committed in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979.

One of the novel legal provisions of the ECCC is that of ‘civil parties’. Civil parties are formal parties to the legal proceedings: they may testify and, through lawyers, may submit evidence, question defendants and seek moral and collective reparations.

Civil parties are taken to reflect ‘the commitment of the ECCC to its mandate of helping the Cambodian people in the pursuit of justice and national reconciliation’ (ECCC 2013).

More than 100 applicants from the Cambodian diaspora have been successful in gaining civil party status in the current ECCC Case 002, and two individuals have travelled from the US to Cambodia to testify.

This paper draws on preliminary research into the legal recognition of victims in the diaspora. In doing so it reflects on new questions of Cambodian genocide memory that are provoked by the participation of civil parties from both within and outside of Cambodia.

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