ECCC Reparations

This blog is designed to serve as a repository of analyses, news reports and press releases related to the issue of RERAPATIONS within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a.k.a. the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Compliance of the Internal Rules with International Law

Since the Internal Rules of the ECCC were adopted there has been a lingering promise to make them public which has yet to be fulfilled.
Once the Rules are publicized, it will make it clear whether they stand in compliance with the latest reparations developments in international law, as well as answer the question of how the drafters of the rules interpreted the meaning of "latest" and how much this tribunal will reply one of the latest significant breakthrus in the international reparations legislation.
The latest authority on reparations under international law is the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law adopted by the National Assembly of the United Nations in 2005 (full text provided below on this blog). The Basic Principles point out that reparations comprise such components as restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition (Art. 18). "Compensation" under this law is further explicated as being "provided for any economically assessible damage, as appropriate and proportional to the gravity of the violation and the circumstances of each case, resulting from gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law, such as: (a) Physical or mental harm; (b) Lost opportunities, including employment, education and social benefits; (c) Material damages and loss of earnings, including loss of earning potential; (d) Moral damage; (e) Costs required for legal or expert assistance, medicine and medical services, and psychological and social services (Art. 20). It is fairly easy to gauge that it was the intent of the Basic Principles was ensure that victims are compensated for the harm done to them in a personalized monetary manner (which is not necessary limited to cash payments). The Principles also stress the issue of access to justice victims must be entitled to which is a international guarantee to "equal access to an effective judicial remedy" of which compensation is an integral part.
If compensation was taken out of the reparatory equation of the ECCC -- as it was noted by many in the press -- through the adoption of the Internal Rules, this will deny potential victims their full and unfettered right to access to justice.
Surely the Internal Rules have been adopted, but what really has been achieved?
Stan Starygin


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