Global Programs Blog

International Field Placement:
Marializa Kelly (JD '15), Vishnu Law Group, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Book Presentation on The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

This week I went to a presentation and panel discussion around a book, The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: Assessing their Contribution to International Criminal Law. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, also known as the ECCC or the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, were established to try the senior members of the Khmer Rouge for alleged violations of international conventions, international humanitarian law and other serious violations of Cambodia’s penal law. To read more about the ECCC, view the caseload and read significant legal documents click here. The establishment of the ECCC is very interesting, and I suggest taking a look, especially if you have any interest in international or criminal law. Here is the Wikipedia (don’t judge) version of the ECCC origins.  

Given the magnitude of the crimes each accused is charged with, the cases go on for a significant amount of time, with is a sensitive issue given the age of many parties involved. One of the first cases had 72 days of evidence with nine expert witnesses, seven character witness, 17 fact witnesses, and 22 civil parties. You can access the court documents through the first link above.

One of the panel speakers was Dr. Gregory Stanton. He is an incredible individual who is known for his work with genocide prevention advocacy and classes on genocide studies. He founded the Cambodian Genocide Project and Genocide Watch. He gave a very moving presentation about how he was drawn to Cambodia and involved in the negotiations that created the ECCC. I was really inspired by his presentation because of how passionate he is about his work. He talked about how the ECCC was the first tribunal of its kind where civil parties (about 4,000) participated. He emphasized how “justice gives people a way to tell their stories.” That was an interesting statement to think about when looking at the atrocities individuals had to endure. It is also interesting to think about in the context of the United States’ legal system. Something for y’all to think about!

Emblem of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
George Stanton of Genocide Watch presents on the ECCC

Dr. Gregory Stanton, panel presenter, with an incredibly moving testimonial.