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.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

International Co-Prosecutor: It Is Not ECCC’s Function to Tell History

International Co-Prosecutor: It Is Not ECCC’s Function to Tell History


The Phnom Penh Post most recently (July 13-16) quoted the International Co-Prosecutor Robert Petit as saying that although “all courts have, to a certain degree, a responsibility to tell history a little bit”, the ECCC is not likely to shed the light on some of the longer-lingering questions pertaining to the Khmer Rouge regime because “the primary focus [of the ECCC] is not to tell the story, it’s to render justice.”

Although this position of the Co-Prosecutors is legally explicable, justifiable and well-precedented in international criminal justice, a vast majority of Cambodians are waiting just for that, for the Court to tell the story to validate their feelings, and to a much lesser degree dispel some of the myths associated with the regime and some individuals’ role in it.

As non-law educated Cambodians are not likely to understand the reasoning of the Court and the conclusions it might draw, most are likely to want to rely on a well-told story of guilt or innocence, of what orders were given and by whom and who was responsible for their execution.

Without being able to explain this, the Court is not likely to be perceived as successful or meriting due attention of the population, which in the long run might undermine its legitimacy.

Writing credible history of Democratic Kampuchea and answering the questions that have long puzzled many may, in the end, be perceived as the Court’s contribution to the non-monetary reparatory practices outlined in the ECCC Internal Rules.

Stan Starygin


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home