Victim Participation at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: Challenges to the Civil Party Framework and Lessons for the Future
This paper examines the victim participation framework at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC or Court), established to deal with crimes during the Khmer Rouge regime. The background which has led to the creation of the ECCC will be explained, before the paper will look at the way the Court is structured to include civil parties. The Court has consistently limited the civil parties’ role since its establishment and these limitations and the justifications are outlined in the paper. Solutions in the context of the ECCC are then considered, although due to the political environment, no changes in favour of victim rights are likely. Future models are considered, with the benefits of a Truth and Conciliation Commission’s analysed by looking at Sierra Leone and East Timor, as examples of successful frameworks where both a Court and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission proceeded simultaneously. This paper concludes that although every situation requiring a judicial response will be different, the option of having both a Court and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission can fulfil multiple victim needs.