International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Better Now Than Never?

SOURCE: BBC News (2010). “Senior Khmer Rouge leaders to appear in Cambodian court.”

Since 2007 Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan,  senior officials during the Khmer Rouge regime, have been in detention for facilitating the genocide that killed nearly 2 million Cambodians during the late 1970s. Although both Chea and Samphan are quite old, their age is not a deal-breaker for the hybrid, U.N sponsored criminal court. The alleged criminals are expected to petition the court for pre-trial releases, due to the need for extended time to prepare for the trial. BBC expects both appeals to be denied Monday, extending their detentions until mid 2011, the expected time frame for the trials. Formally named, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the court established in 2006 has only convicted one individual for crimes against humanity. The international community is concerned about the health of the former leaders, hesitant to lose the opportunity for justice, a legacy from Augusto Pinochet (Chile) who died before sentencing in 2006.


One response to “Better Now Than Never?

  1. Alana Tiemessen February 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    This is a challenge for many courts and post-conflict societies. Milosevic died in his cell part way through his trial at the ICTY, and in Cambodia’s cases, justice is only being meted out forty years after the atrocities took place and many of the accused and witnesses are no longer around. When we get to the hybrid court for Cambodia (ECCC) next week in class we’ll talk about whether ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ for victims of the Khmer Rouge.

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