Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI)

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Leaders of the 2015 AIJI Summer Institute in Bali, Indonesia. Director of AIJI, David Cohen, is on the right.

The Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI) develops capacities and partnerships related to international justice, judicial reform, the rule of law, and human rights in the Asia-Pacific region, with a specific focus on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). More than a decade old, AIJI is a collaboration between the East-West Center (EWC) and the WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University (previously known as the Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center).

AIJI combines the Asia-Pacific regional expertise of the EWC and the expertise of the Handa Center on capacity building, policy-oriented research, and programming on areas such as the rule of law, human rights, legal education, and transitional justice in post-conflict societies. The Initiative was formed in recognition of the joint aim of the two centers to promote standards of excellence in international justice, good governance, and human rights in the Asia-Pacific region. Under the AIJI umbrella, the Handa Center and EWC work in close partnership with regional and country-specific institutions to train professionals and help government and nongovernmental institutions implement international standards and best practices and meet their international and regional obligations in the justice, security, economic, and social sectors. 

Current and recent activities are summarized in the March 2016 AIJI flyer.

Professor David Cohen, a leading expert in international humanitarian law and international criminal law, directs all AIJI activities. Cohen is a Senior Fellow at the East-West Center and the WSD Handa Professor in Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University, where he directs the Handa Center. Christoph Sperfeldt serves as AIJI Deputy Director. Other AIJI associates are based in Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

Current AIJI Projects

AIJI is currently involved in a wide range of projects in Southeast Asia, some focusing on the national level in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Timor Leste, and others aimed more broadly at the regional level in ASEAN.


Strengthening the ASEAN Regional Human Rights System

ASEAN regional integration provides new opportunities for enhancing the rule of law, good governance, and human rights in the region. AIJI partners with the Human Rights Resource Center (HRRC) for ASEAN to support important regional human rights research and policy advocacy. AIJI has also worked with USAID at the regional level since 2010 to support ASEAN rule-of-law initiatives, including the development of ASEAN judiciary working groups that are addressing crucial issues related to the increasing integration of the ASEAN community. AIJI co-hosts regional Summer Institutes in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights every year in collaboration with the HRRC. Projects are as follows:

Rights of Women and Children and Human Trafficking

AIJI places a specific emphasis on the role of vulnerable populations in development efforts, including women and children. Currently, AIJI runs programs aimed at ending trafficking in persons and sexual violence in conflict. Projects are as follows:

Rule of Law and Justice Sector Capacity Development

AIJI provides technical assistance, policy-oriented studies, and capacity development for governmental and non-governmental actors in the justice sector. It has long-standing partnerships with judiciaries and rule-of-law institutions in Southeast Asia and is currently implementing judicial reform and capacity building programs in Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Timor Leste. Projects are as follows:

Transitional Justice and Dealing with the Past

AIJI and its parent organizations have a track record in helping societies deal with the legacy of a violent past, including major transitional justice and accountability processes in Timor Leste, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Bangladesh. Specific project details are as follows:


 

Recently Completed AIJI Projects

Over the past decade, AIJI has completed numerous training initiatives, monitoring programs, and workshops. These included a trial observation program at the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh, community outreach efforts linked to justice-sector reform, and numerous transitional justice and rule-of-law workshops in Cambodia, East Timor, and Indonesia and at the regional level for ASEAN bodies. More details are provided under the following headings:

Selected Publications

Cohen, David, Daniel Mattes, and Caitlin McCaffrie (2017). Justice on appeal: Commentary on the Case 002/01 Final Judgment at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Phnom Penh: WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice and East-West Center.

Palmer, Emma, and Christoph Sperfeldt (2016).  International criminal justice and Southeast Asia:  Approaches to ending impunity for mass atrocities. AsiaPacific Issues No. 126.  Honolulu:  East-West Center.

Sperfeldt, Christoph, Melanie Hyde, and Mychelle Balthazard (2016). Voices for reconciliation: Assessing media outreach and survivor engagement for Case 002 at the Khmer Rouge trials. Honolulu: East-West Center and WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice.

Brunner, Jessica (2015). Inaccurate numbers, inadequate policies: Enhancing data to evaluate the prevalence of human trafficking In ASEAN. Honolulu: East-West Center.

Cohen, David, and Leigh-Ashley Lipscomb (2015). Justice at the crossroads. IPAC Report No. 22. Jakarta: Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.

Cohen, David, Melanie Hyde, and Penelope Van Tuyl, with Stephanie Fung (2015). A well-reasoned opinion? Critical analysis of the first case against the alleged senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge. Honolulu: East-West Center.

Hyde, Melanie, Emma Palmer, and Sarah Williams (2014). Transformative reparations for sexual and gender-based violence at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC): Reflections, recommendations and next steps. Report of a Workshop held on 28 November 2014 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Sydney: Australian Human Rights Centre and the Asian International Justice Initiative.

Sperfeldt, Christoph (2014). Broadcasting justice: Media outreach at the Khmer Rouge trials. Asia Pacific Issues No. 115. Honolulu: East-West Center.

Cohen, David (2010). ASEAN’s Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and civil society initiatives in Southeast Asia. Asia Pacific Bulletin No. 51. Washington, DC: East-West Center.

Lipscomb, Leigh-Ashley (2010). Beyond the truth: Can reparations move peace and justice forward in Timor-Leste? AsiaPacific Issues No. 93. Honolulu: East-West Center.

Kelsall, Michelle Staggs (2009). The new ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights: Toothless tiger or tentative first step? AsiaPacific Issues No. 90. Honolulu: East-West Center.

Kelsall, Michelle Staggs, Mary Kristerie A. Baleva, Aviva Nababan, Vineath Chou, Rachel Guo, Caroline Ehlert, Sovannith Nget, and Savornt Pheak (2009). Lessons learned from the "Duch" trial: A comprehensive review of the first case before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Report produced by the Asian International Justice Initiative's KRT Trial Monitoring Group.

Cohen, David (2006). Indifference and accountability: The United Nations and the politics of international justice in East Timor. Special Report No. 9. Honolulu: East-West Center.

Cohen, David (2006). ‘Justice on the cheap’ revisited: The failure of the serious crimes trials in East Timor. AsiaPacific Issues No. 80. Honolulu: East-West Center.

Cohen, David (August 2002). Seeking justice on the cheap: Is the East Timor tribunal really a model for the future?  AsiaPacific Issues No. 61. Honolulu: East-West Center.

Collaborating Institutions

In addition to East-West Center and the WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University, AIJI collaborates with a number of university-based centers around the world. These include the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE) and Pannasastra University in Cambodia, Macquarie University in Australia, the University of Zurich Human Rights Center in Switzerland, Universitas Udayana in Indonesia, the University of Munich and the War Crimes Documentation Center at the University of Marburg in Germany, the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law in Vietnam, and the International Institute for Child Rights and Development at the University of Victoria in Canada. AIJI also collaborates with criminal tribunals around the world.

AIJI Team Members

David Cohen—Director, AIJI; Senior Fellow, East-West Center; WSD-Handa Professor in Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University

David Cohen is the Director of the WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University and a leading expert in the fields of human rights, international law, and transitional justice. He taught at the University of California (UC) Berkeley from 1979 to 2012 as the Ancker Distinguished Professor for the Humanities, and he was the founding Director of the Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center, which moved to Stanford University in 2013 to become the Handa Center. He directs an international project on the World War II war crimes trials in Asia, the Pacific, and Europe and has monitored and reported on the East Timor trials before the Serious Crimes Panel in Dili and the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court in Jakarta. Cohen also serves as Advisor to the Executive Director and Governing Board of the Human Rights Resource Center for ASEAN. He received a J.D. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, a Ph.D. in Classics and Ancient History from Cambridge University, and honorary Doctorates in International Law from the University of Zurich and the University of Cambodia. He is the author of numerous publications.

Christoph Sperfeldt—Deputy Director, AIJI

Christoph Sperfeldt is responsible for developing and managing AIJI's programs in Southeast Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. He brings to the role more than 10 years of experience in research and capacity development in the areas of transitional justice, rule of law, and conflict transformation. Before joining AIJI, he worked as Senior Advisor with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Cambodia from 2007 to 2011, as an Advisor both to the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC) and then to the Victims Support Section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Sperfeldt holds a master's degree in Political Science from the University of Jena in Germany, and is a doctoral candidate at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) of the Australian National University. He has published widely in the field of transitional justice and human rights.

Dian Rositawati—AIJI Indonesia Program Director

Dian Rositawati coordinates the implementation of AIJI's programs and liaises with partner government and non-governmental institutions in Indonesia. She has been involved in judicial reform in Indonesia since 2000 and participated in the drafting of the Supreme Court Blueprints that have become the foundation of Indonesia's judicial reform. Rositawati has served as a member of the Judicial Reform Working Group at the Supreme Court since 2009 and provides assistance to the Supreme Court in reform programs in the areas of judicial training, case management, and judicial oversight mechanisms. She is also a board member and the former director of the Indonesian Institute for an Independent Judiciary (LeIP). She holds a master's degree in law, development, and globalization and is currently completing a Ph.D. at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands.

Lina Tay—AIJI Acting Cambodia Program Director

Lina Tay holds a bachelor of law degree from the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE) in Cambodia and a master of law degree in public international law from the Transnational Law and Business University in the Republic of Korea. During field study in Europe, Tay visited the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court, and the International Court of Justice, which sparked his interest in international criminal justice, especially the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia’s Case 002.

Caitlin McCaffrie—Senior Program Consultant, AIJI Cambodia

Caitlin McCaffrie holds an honors degree in international studies from the University of Adelaide in Australia, where her master’s thesis focused on French colonialism and France’s military intervention in Mali. She also holds bachelor’s degrees in arts and international studies, majoring in French, Chinese, and politics. Before joining AIJI, McCaffrie served as an intern with the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and the United Nations Office for Project Services.

Somaly Kum— Project Officer, AIJI Cambodia 

Somaly Kum holds a master of law degree in public law from the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE), a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the National University of Management (NUM), and a bachelor's degree in management from Preah Kossomak Political Institute in Cambodia. Before joining AIJI, she worked as an intern and a program assistant with the Khmer Rouge Trial Justice Project and the Land and Natural Resources Rights Project for the Cambodia Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC).

Daniel Mattes—Program Consultant, AIJI Cambodia

Daniel Mattes holds an M.Sc. degree in global politics and global civil society from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a B.A. degree in international relations and Italian from Stanford University. He completed a dissertation analyzing the transnational activist response to capital-led rubber development in Cambodia’s Ratanakiri Province. Mattes has monitored the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia’s Case 002 in different roles with AIJI since 2012.

Melanie Hyde—AIJI Advisor and former Cambodia Program Director

Melanie Hyde was responsible for coordinating a range of AIJI programs in Cambodia, including the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Monitoring Program at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the Voices of Reconciliation Program, the Facing Justice television series, and various legal education initiatives related to rule of law and transitional justice. Hyde is an Australian qualified lawyer with a background in commercial law, human rights law, and international criminal law. She previously served as the Legal Advisor to AIJI, with a particular focus on legal education and fair trial rights. Prior to joining AIJI, she worked on gender justice and equality initiatives in Australia, Afghanistan, Cameroon, Cambodia, and Libya.

Related to staff: 

See all current East-West Center Research Projects.