The KRT Monitoring and Community Outreach Program is conducted in close cooperation with international and Cambodian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), working on post-conflict and victims' rights issues related to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). AIJI’s programs in Cambodia have two primary aims: (i) to ensure that the tribunal’s proceedings comply with internationally recognized fair trial standards; and (ii) to maximize the educational potential of the work of the Tribunal.
The program successfully completed its coverage of the first trial at the ECCC in November 2009. A team of court monitors—comprising lawyers and human-rights advocates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, China, the Philippines, the United States, Germany, and Switzerland—wrote weekly reports and collaborated with a local film production company, Khmer Mekong Films (KMF), to produce the Time for Justice film series and a weekly television program about Case 001, called Duch on Trial.
Building upon five years of experience of the War Crimes Studies Center in trial monitoring in Sierra Leone, East Timor, Rwanda, and Indonesia, AIJI has established a regionally-based trial monitoring program at the Khmer Rouge tribunal for the duration of the Khmer Rouge trials. The goals of the program are:
- to widen public awareness of the ECCC in Cambodia, in the region, and internationally, through the dissemination of weekly trial reports both describing and assessment the proceedings as they unfold;
- to train young lawyers by giving them the experience of engaging in monitoring and legal analysis at an international tribunal, under expert supervision;and
- to develop a regional network of young human rights lawyers who are able to engage with justice processes and to assess their overall effectiveness.
In addition to a permanent AIJI monitor, the monitoring team for the first trial--that of Kaing Guek Eav--comprised young lawyers and advanced law students from China, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Cambodia, alongside monitors from Switzerland and Germany. The goals of the program are:
1.To widen public awareness of the ECCC in the region;
2. To train young lawyers by giving them the experience of working at an international tribunal and engaging in monitoring and legal analysis under expert supervision;
3. To develop a regional network of young human rights lawyers.
The project is working with educational, professional, and non-government organizations in these countries to provide monitors and identify potential funding sources for their participation. Individual monitors will write reports on the proceedings for dissemination in their countries and posting on the web. The team will also produce periodic analytical assessments of the trials.