Source: (2013) Contemporary Justice Review. 16(4):461-481.
Victims of the Khmer Rouge play a unique role at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) since they have broad participatory rights. However, as the initial trial progressed, a number of changes were made to the framework of victim participation to deal with emerging problems. Although these amendments seemed to curtail some rights, they were also meant to strengthen victim participation and ensure a more efficient trial process. This led to the introduction of restorative justice measures, a lead co-lawyer system and a single submission for reparations. The reasons they were introduced and how they have been implemented so far in the first year of the second trial are the focus here. Subsequently, the impact of the lack of resources and attention given to victim support at the ECCC, from its inception, and the crucial contribution of civil society organizations in filling this gap and carrying out myriad activities at all stages of the participation process are examined. With the well-publicized controversies at the ECCC such as alleged political interference, the participation of victims has the potential to be the lasting legacy of the Court, but any success in this area owes a great debt to Cambodian civil society. (author’s abstract)
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