Participation Rights of Victims as Civil Parties and the Challenges of Their Implementation Before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
This chapter introduces the rights of Civil Parties before the ECCC which is the first Court to grant victims standing as civil parties to proceedings in mass crime trials. Since the Court began, the right of civil parties to participate in proceedings and seek reparations has undergone many changes. The rights of civil parties and their legal representatives have been increasingly limited through jurisprudence, the amendment of the Court’s Internal Rules and decisions of the Court Administration limiting resources available to the civil parties and their representatives. The author stresses that the participation of survivors as parties to criminal proceedings and the provision of appropriate remedies are of the utmost importance and can significantly contribute to the process of ascertaining the truth and achieving justice in a post-conflict situation. Importantly, the participation of civil parties and the reparation system available to them must comply with international standards and principals as well as being consistent, coherent, transparent and respectful. Last but not least, sufficient resources must be provided. The participation of survivors in criminal proceedings and access to meaningful remedies remains a huge challenge, but is feasible if those administrating, funding and supporting the proceedings are willing to ensure that these objectives are realised. Importantly, the participation of survivors in criminal proceedings and access to meaningful remedies are indispensable to ensuring that a holistic response to mass atrocities is achieved.
KeywordsVictims Civil parties Civil party lawyers Reparations Participation right Legal representation ECCC Cambodia
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