Justice for Khmer Rouge Crimes at Last? The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia’s Second Judgment

Event date: 
28 Aug 2014 5:00pm
Staff common room, level 2, UNSW Law
Christoph Sperfeldt and Sarah Williams
Any questions? Call us on 9385 1803

On 7 August 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) will issue its second judgment. The Australian Human Rights Centre invites you to join Associate Professor Sarah Williams and Christoph Sperfeldt to discuss the implications of this important decision at 5pm on Thursday 28 August 2014.

Case 002 involves two former senior Khmer Rouge leaders, Nuon Chea, the former Chairman of the Democratic Kampuchea National Assembly, and Khieu Samphan, the former Head of State of Democratic Kampuchea. These two accused are charged with crimes against humanity, genocide against the Cham and Vietnamese, as well as grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed during the Democratic Kampuchea regime.

Judgment for the initial part of Case 002, Case 002/01, will be pronounced on 7 August 2014. Case 002/01 focuses on crimes against humanity related to the forced transfer of Cambodians from Phnom Penh and throughout Cambodia, and the execution of Khmer Republic soldiers at Toul Po Chrey execution site. It will also examine the overall responsibility and roles of the accused for all Case 002 charges and these findings will provide the basis for the remainder of Case 002. Case 002/02, which will commence in July 2014, will address charges related to genocide, forced marriages and rape, treatment of Buddhists, internal purges, targeting of former Khmer Republic officials, certain security centres, worksites and one cooperative.

The evening will commence with the screening of an outreach film to provide an overview of Case 002. The speakers will then discuss the judgment, in particular its contributions to substantive international criminal law and the implications for reparations for victims, and the possible directions for the ECCC as it commences its next trial.

Dr Sarah Williams is an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales. Sarah was the Dorset Fellow in Public International Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (from 2008 - 2010), a Senior Legal Researcher at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (from 2006 - 2007), a Lecturer at Durham Law School, University of Durham (from 2003 - 2008) and a commercial solicitor in London and Sydney (1998 – 2001). Sarah has acted as a consultant to the European Commission, the British Red Cross, the International Federation of the Red Cross and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. Her research areas include international criminal law, international humanitarian law and international disaster law. Sarah's book, Hybrid and Internationalized Criminal Tribunals: Selected Jurisdictional Issues, was published by Hart Publishing in April 2012. She is an Associate of the Australian Human Rights Centre, and co-director of its Humanitarian Law programme.

Christoph Sperfeldt is a PhD scholar at the Centre for International Governance & Justice (CIGJ) at the Australian National University, working under the supervision of Prof. Hilary Charlesworth. Before joining CIGJ, Christoph worked largely in the fields of human rights and transitional justice, with a focus on Southeast Asia. He has been Regional Program Coordinator at the Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI), a joint program of the East-West Center and UC Berkeley’s War Crimes Studies Center, where he has supported regional human rights and justice sector capacity-building efforts in the ASEAN region. Prior to this, Christoph was Senior Advisor with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Cambodia. In this capacity, he worked from 2007 to 2010 as an Advisor to the Secretariat of the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee and from 2010 to 2011, as Advisor to the Victims Support Section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.