International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Lack of Cooperation in Cambodian Hybrid Tribunal

Cambodian Hybrid Courtroom

Over the past month international judges have charged three Cambodians with crimes against humanity committed during the rule of the Khmer Rouge. Although the tribunal is a hybrid court between in United Nations and Cambodia these legitimate charges against former criminals have been highly controversial in Cambodia. The Cambodian government, police and national investigation judge are all opposed to the two cases which are currently open in the tribunal: case 003 and case 004, which involve all three of the past men who have been charged. Despite the fact that is a hybrid tribunal they refuse to work with the United Nations in bringing these men to justice. The national investigator may still challenge the decision of the tribunal, which could further impede of justice for these men also. The latest charge is against a man named Ao An, who is specifically being charged for, “extermination, persecution on political and religious grounds and other inhumane acts”. Although Ao An has been made aware of his charge he is still yet to be arrested and the Cambodian government openly disagrees with the decision and thus far has not aided in his arrest.

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One response to “Lack of Cooperation in Cambodian Hybrid Tribunal

  1. oconnorg April 5, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    In the Cambodian case, there arises the issue of whether or not the people of Cambodia feel as though they have agency in their own hybrid tribunal, or whether a corrupt government is preventing justice from being carried out in entirety. If the former is true, the Cambodian tribunal will have therefore failed to provide meaningful justice that the people of Cambodia feel ownership over. It is possible that the people of Cambodia feel as though the United Nations tribunal is imposing Western justice in a situation that might call for a more grassroots solution. This could be one reason for which the hybrid tribunal has been somewhat less successful than other forms of transitional justice. On the other hand, if the Cambodian government is blocking due justice from being carried out that would indicate that a government reminiscent of the one during the time of violence and oppression is still in place, and would indicate a different kind of failure on the part of the hybrid tribunal.

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