IRRC No. 882

Confronting Duch: civil party participation in Case 001 at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

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The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is unique because it is the first international criminal tribunal to allow victims of alleged crimes to act as civil parties at trial. This means that victims can have a role at the ECCC beyond being called as witnesses. After presenting the history of victim particiation in national and international war crimes trials, this article examines how civil party participation shaped the trial proceedings at the ECCC, and how the civil parties viewed their interactions with the court. It concludes by reflecting on the positive and negative aspects of civil party participation in the Duch trial, and what implications such participation may have for future trials at the ECCC and other international criminal courts.

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