Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Civil party participation

Civil party participation

Civil party participation

Dear Editor,

Monday, September 1, saw the start of a weeklong Plenary Session at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). In light of the Pre-Trial Chamber's recent consideration of civil party participation, it appears very likely that discussion of procedures governing such participation will feature high on the Plenary's agenda.

Despite initially adopting a progressive approach, the Pre-Trial Chamber's treatment of civil party participation has been restrictive of late.  On July 1, for example, the Judges refused to allow an unrepresented civil party to address the Chamber in person.  This has caused many to question whether the Judges remain committed to the continued implementation of a system of meaningful participation for victims.  The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee has expressed concern that the Judges may amend the Internal Rules (IRs) at the Plenary to limit civil parties' rights.While recognising that inappropriately managed civil party participation may cause delay, we urge the Judges to respect civil parties' existing rights.

 

At present the IRs reflect the relevant Cambodian procedures for civil party participation and accord civil parties various rights, including the right to introduce evidence and summon witnesses, the right to request reparation and the right to (but not requirement of) legal representation.

Any limitation of civil parties' rights beyond these limits would violate the ECCC Law and UN-RGC Agreement. Furthermore, the Judges should remember that civil parties have joined the proceedings expecting to be treated as full parties.  Restriction of civil parties' rights would cause disappointment and compromise their ability to participate as full parties.  Instead, the Judges should commit themselves to more robust management of the proceedings.

Terith Chy (Team Leader)

Sarah Thomas (Legal Fellow)

Victim Participation Project (VPA)

Documentation Centre of Cambodia 

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget