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In keeping with its vision to foster sustainable human rights reform processes in the Asia Pacific region, AIJI is working on a series of monitoring, outreach and legacy initiatives aimed at maximizing the impact of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (or ‘Khmer Rouge Tribunal’) in Cambodia. The Tribunal was established in 2003, to try senior leaders and those most responsible for the atrocities committed in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. There are five accused persons under investigation: Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea. The trial of Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’ began on March 30, 2009.

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.

The project has now enlisted a new team of monitors in Phnom Penh—representing Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, the United States, Singapore, Taiwan, and Switzerland—to cover the proceedings of Case 002, against Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, and Khieu Samphan. As during the first trial, the monitoring team produces written reports on the proceedings, as well as a weekly television series, Facing Justice, in collaboration with Khmer Mekong Films, and a companion call-in radio program that broadcasts nationally in Cambodia every week.

The link to the Cambodia trial blog is here .


AIJI Trial Monitoring Team in Phnom Penh, upon the completion of their two-week training course, held at the offices of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Cambodia.
Trial Monitoring at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal


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:


  1. 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;
  2. to train young lawyers by giving them the experience of engaging in monitoring and legal analysis at an international tribunal, under expert supervision;and
  3. 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.