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David Cohen

Justice on Appeal - Commentary on the Case 002/01 Final Judgement at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (English)

On 23 November 2016, the Supreme Court Chamber (SCC) of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) issued its long-awaited final judgment in the first part of the ongoing trial against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, the two surviving senior leaders of the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) regime, which lasted from 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979. The well-reasoned and balanced final judgment sets a positive example for the Cambodian domestic court system and other international tribunals, while also hopefully raising the standard of production for the Trial Chamber’s pending judgment in Case 002/02.

Khmer Rouge Tribunal Monitoring Report - Case 002/02 Issue No. 80 (English)

In June 2017, Parties to Case 002/02 returned to the Trial Chamber, six months after the end of evidentiary hearings, to hear closing statements from all sides in this second and final trial against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan. Over the course of two weeks, each Party presented their final oral arguments, summarizing the main points contained in the lengthy written briefs they each filed on 2 May 2017. This report summarizes the two weeks of closing arguments of the Office of the Co-Prosecutors (OCP), Lead Co-Lawyers for Civil Parties (LCLCP), and Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan Defense Teams.

A Well-Reasoned Opinion? Critical Analysis of the First Case Against the Alleged Senior Leaders of the Khmer Rouge

On 7 August 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) reached an important institutional milestone when the Court published its long-awaited Trial Judgment in the first case against two of the surviving alleged senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge—Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan ("Case 002/01"). The Court found both men guilty of crimes against humanity, and sentenced them each to life imprisonment, while awarding "moral and collective reparations" to the 3,869 Civil Parties participating in the trial. Despite hopes that the five-year process of judicial investigation, trial, deliberation, and Judgment-drafting would produce a rigorous and insightful final product, in reality, as this report argues, the Case 002/01 Judgment fails to deliver the most fundamental output one expects from a criminal trial—systematic application of the elements of crimes to a well-documented body of factual findings. Based, in part, on insight gained from the continuous presence of a team of trial monitors throughout trial, this report provides commentary on how a contentious and confusing trial process in Case 002/01 ultimately produced a similarly problematic final Judgment.

Khmer Rouge Tribunal Monitoring Report - Case 002/01 Appeal Issue No. 1 (Khmer)

In the first set of appeal hearings since the Trial Chamber issued its Judgment in Case 002/01 on 7 August 2014, the Supreme Court Chamber heard the testimonies of three new witnesses. The Trial Chamber found the Co-Accused, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, guilty of crimes against humanity comprising murder, inhumane acts, forced transfers, forced disappearances, attacks on human dignity, in the territory of Cambodia between 17 April 1975 and the end of 1977. The Trial Chamber sentenced the two Accused to life imprisonment. The Defense Teams filed their appeal briefs against the Trial Chamber’s Judgment on 29 December 2014, and Nuon Chea has also filed five separate requests for additional evidence in the appellate stage of proceedings. Nuon Chea raised 223 grounds of appeal and Khieu Samphan raised 148 grounds of appeal, covering alleged errors in both law and in fact. The Co-Prosecutors filed a shorter appeal, which deals only with an alleged error in law related to the Chamber’s decision not to apply the most extended form of joint criminal enterprise, also known as “JCE III”, as a mode of criminal liability.

Khmer Rouge Tribunal Monitoring Report - Case 002/01 Appeal Issue No. 1 (English)

In the first set of appeal hearings since the Trial Chamber issued its Judgment in Case 002/01 on 7 August 2014, the Supreme Court Chamber heard the testimonies of three new witnesses. The Trial Chamber found the Co-Accused, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, guilty of crimes against humanity comprising murder, inhumane acts, forced transfers, forced disappearances, attacks on human dignity, in the territory of Cambodia between 17 April 1975 and the end of 1977. The Trial Chamber sentenced the two Accused to life imprisonment. The Defense Teams filed their appeal briefs against the Trial Chamber’s Judgment on 29 December 2014, and Nuon Chea has also filed five separate requests for additional evidence in the appellate stage of proceedings. Nuon Chea raised 223 grounds of appeal and Khieu Samphan raised 148 grounds of appeal, covering alleged errors in both law and in fact. The Co-Prosecutors filed a shorter appeal, which deals only with an alleged error in law related to the Chamber’s decision not to apply the most extended form of joint criminal enterprise, also known as “JCE III”, as a mode of criminal liability.

 

Interim Report: The Special Court for Sierra Leone as a Model for "Hybrid Justice"

This report arises out of the work of a permanent international monitoring team at the Special COurt for Sierra Leone (SCSL), which attends trial proceedings on a daily basis. The team has focused on the conduct of proceedings, treatment of witnesses, judicial management of cases, and substantive aspects of witness testimony from an independent monitoring perspective. This report is intended to summarize and complement weekly reports issued by the team and to provide an interim analysis of the accomplishments of and challenges facing the tribunal to date. In addition to drawing from staff interviews and daily observations of trial proceedings, this report addresses critical commentary from organizations such as the International Center for Transitional Justice and Human Rights Watch, who issued reports in March 2004 and September 2004 respectively, detailing the court’s pre-trial development and offering recommendations as to how the court might function more effectively.8 Unlike these two reports, however, this document does not offer specific policy recommendations to the court per se, but instead presents information and critical observations to the court itself and to the international community.

Final Report: The Failure of Leipzig Repeated in Jakarta

The first session of the Ad-Hoc Human Right Court that started since February 21st 2001 for the gross violation of human right in Timor Lorosae that happened from April until September 1999 has ended. This is the first time in judicial history in Indonesia when the gross violation of human right conducted by high rank military, police and civilian officials is brought into the court, that is the Ad-Hoc Human Right Court. This Court is established under the provision of the Act No. 26/2000 after the failure to establish it through Government Regulation to replace Law (PerPu) by President BJ. Habibie. This Final Assessment, based on the trial monitoring efforts from February 2001 through July 2003 tries to objectively present the process of the court sessions for the cases that deeply shocked the conscience of international community. All the aspects of the court proceedings are scrutinized and evaluated in this Final Assessment.

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