, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 515-530
Date: 09 Jan 2010

Justice, Human Rights, and Reconciliation in Postconflict Cambodia

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Abstract

Retribution? Restitution? Reconciliation? “Justice” comes in many forms as witnessed by the spike in war crimes tribunals, Truth & Reconciliation Commissions, hybrid tribunals and genocide trials. Which, if any form is appropriate should be influenced by the culture of the people affected. It took Cambodia over three decades to finally address the ghosts of its Khmer Rouge past with the creation of a hybrid Khmer Rouge Tribunal. But how meaningful is justice to the majority of survivors of the Khmer Rouge auto-genocide when only a handful of top officials are tried? Further, given the persistent abuse of political and economic rights in post-conflict Cambodia, we are skeptical that justice or reconciliation is presently possible.