Das Sondergericht zur Ahndung der Verbrechen der Roten Khmer

  • Raimund Weiss (Autor/in)

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The long awaited Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia to prosecute crimes of the Khmer Rouge were initiated in July 2006 with the inauguration of international and local judges. During the year 2007 key Khmer Rouge leaders were imprisoned and first court hearings took place at the beginning of 2008. The paper examines the 28 year delay and the importance of an Extraordinary Court for present-day Cambodia. The reasons for the delay are traced back to the second Cambodian Civil War (1979-1991), the precarious historical role of the former civil war parties, now government partners, and the role of the UN in the civil war. This led to difficult negotiations between the UN and the Cambodian Government, highlighted by conflicts as to whether an Extraordinary Court should be set up under a mixed judiciary or under UN jurisdiction and how former amnesties for key Khmer Rouge leaders should be handled. However, despite this 28 year delay, the Extraordinary Court can still be understood as an important step towards justice and a substantial contribution to fostering the rule of law and the peace process in present-day Cambodia.