University of Cambridge > > Societies, Markets, States - Department of Geography > The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, ‘civil parties’ and the Cambodian diaspora

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, ‘civil parties’ and the Cambodian diaspora

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The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, also known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), is a current 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 victims who are recognised as formal parties to the legal proceedings: they may testify and, through co-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 (mainly from the USA and France) were successful in gaining civil party status in ECCC Case 002. Individuals have travelled from the US to Cambodia to testify, while others have given evidence from their homes via weblink. This paper draws on preliminary research into this legal recognition of victims in the diaspora and the nature and effects of this recognition at the tribunal. In doing so, it reflects on the new geographies of Cambodian genocide memory that are provoked by the participation of these civil parties.

This talk is part of the Societies, Markets, States - Department of Geography series.

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