Anette Marcher's article "Latest proposal criticized" (Post,
April 28-May 11) describes Brad Adams's opposition to a US proposal for a panel
of judges to settle possible disagreements between co-prosecutors in a trial of
Khmer Rouge leaders. The article indicates that Adams's opinion on this matter
is important because he is a "human rights lawyer".
I asked our bread
seller whether he is in favour of human rights, and he said he assuredly is. If
he should have the misfortune to be run over by a truck, will the Post's report
of the accident refer to him as a "human rights bread seller"?
take another example, has the Post inquired of the Prime Minister whether he
favours human rights? If he answers in the affirmative, will the Post henceforth
refer to "human rights Prime Minister Hun Sen"?
My point is that "human
rights lawyer" is not a moral qualification, but a job description. It denotes a
lawyer who specializes in human rights law, in the same way that "criminal
lawyer" denotes a legal specialty, not support for criminality.
Adams's quoted remarks do not concern his legal expertise, but only his
political opinion that the Cambodian government will successfully try to corrupt
the operations of the judges' panel.
Adams is of course entitled to his
opinion, but I fail to see why it should receive any more space in the Post than
the opinions of our human rights bread seller or any other
- Allen Myers, Phnom Penh