Role of Extraordinary Chambers Court in Cambodia

Posted by khmernews on November 18, 2006

Any body faced with trial has some right to defend themselves before the judges and prosecutors. It was called “the suspicious”. However, if co-prosecutors alleged the suspicious then they will become “defendant”.

1-Why defendants have must some right?
• Defendant’s right is really crucial in an obey-law society
• In society that follow law correctly the court can not make a justice trial if the judge not obey and recognize defendant’s right.
• If no appropriate and sufficient defend, real justice could not appear.

2-What is the right of the defendant?
• They  have right to aware what kind of allegation they were charged
• They must have their won lawyer
• They have right to get enough time and methods to defend their allegation
• They have right to have on time trial illegally and publicly
• They have right to check all evidence against them and have right to inquire witness
• They have right to get prior prediction that if no sufficient proof for their allegation they will be innocent.
• They have right to take legal action to the court for their accusation trials

The above rights for defendants are protected by law of Extraordinary Chambers in Court of Cambodia (ECCC) to try genocide crimes during Democratic Kampuchea period. These rights has said in international pact on people and political right which guarantee international standard for Khmer Rough trials with justice and accurate.

Cambodia institution also protects some right of those in Article 38. Why defendant should get all these rights?

Millions of victims were full of anger and sorrow for the crimes happened in Khmer Rough regime. They thought the persons responsible for the genocide have committed prejudice which is not appropriate to achieve those rights.

Nevertheless, defendant’s right is still important depend on some reasons:
• Through lawsuit protection of defendant could bring a reality
• Giving time to defendant to describe the background of the crimes committed it create a clue to show the real crimes and the person responsible for it.

• It is necessary to protect defendant’s lawsuit in order to make the process of ECCC’s trials suitable for Cambodian and international community. The fact that the trials run smoothly with fairness and accuracy is important. If it happened with injustice it means the people committed crimes have many reasons to claim they are not guilty if but if the trials going with justice the responsible person must accept their crime.

• Giving right to defendant illustrate the will to find justice rather than take revenge. The societies with excellent civilization always offer such right to all individual to display its difference from Democratic Kampuchea. Any society with civilization must obey law and prosecute only guilty people shown by court trials.

Extracted from:  Resmey Kampuchea, Vol 14, # 4131, Sun-Mon, 12-13/11/ 2006


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