Cambodian Lawyers Receive Trainings on International Criminal Law

Posted by khmernews on March 30, 2007

After their long disagreements, the Cambodian Bar Association (CBA) and the Defense Support Unit (DSU) of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) are becoming close again and planning a training course on the international criminal law which will be held from the 12th to the 16th of March 2007, under the support from International Bar Association. The announcement has been made only a few days before the meeting of the rules committee of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which has been stalled for months and received a lot of criticisms from national and international communities as it is worried that the Khmer Rouge trial cannot proceed as planned.

It should be remembered that this training course was planned to be conducted in November 2006, but was cancelled because of the confrontation between the CBA and the DSU of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. At that time, the CBA President Ky Tech threatened to punish those lawyers who attended the training and said that the training did not pay respect to Cambodian sovereignty as the bar association was not invited. Concerning rights to appoint the defense lawyers for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Ky Tech insisted the appointment be done by the CBA, while international side wanted the DSU of the tribunal to choose as they think the DSU is more independent. This disagreement was criticized as a plan to stall the Khmer Rouge Tribunal whilst there was a failure in adopting the internal rules.  

However, the new cooperation [between the two departments] is seen as a step forwards to agreements of the DSU of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the CBA, and the International Bar Association on the internal rules which are also related to the defense lawyers. Intern lawyers and Cambodian lawyers, who have experience less than 3 years, are prioritized to attend the training which accepts only 60 participants. A later training will be provided to lawyers of the CBA who have registered for more than 3 years.

According to announcement of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the training will give Cambodian lawyers a detailed analysis on the international criminal law which will be used in the ECCC for the prosecution of the former Khmer Rouge leaders. Moreover, there will be explanations on forms of the accountability, the genocide, crime against humanity, war crime, and, especially, the roles of the international criminal law in the national court. The training will be presented by specialists who have experience in national and international criminal law.

(Informal Translation)
-Extracted from Somnei Thmey. #102. Monday-Sunday, March 12-18, 2007.


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