Cambodia

Civil Parties’ Statements of Suffering at the ECCC

In national systems of criminal procedure that recognize Civil Parties, they express their suffering as their testimony proceeds. At the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) however, the first fifteen Civil Parties who came to testify in the first trial of Case 002, from the end of December 2011 to the middle of May 2013, were only allowed to discuss their suffering after the other parties had finished asking them questions on the facts at issue. The President of the Trial Chamber notably required Civil Party Lawyers to avoid questions about suffering. Only after they finished their testimony were the Civil Parties allocated time that was specifically dedicated to the expression of their suffering. Isolating the Civil Party’s statement of suffering from his or her testim...

Oh Battambang!

It was another short trip back to my second home in Cambodia. Battambang, the city of the lost stick. In the heart of Battambang lies the reason that initially brought me to Cambodia: the Apostolic Prefecture and most of all, the work of an inspiring figure, ‘Lok-ou-pok’ or Father Kike. Currently the Bishop of Battambang, Enrique Figaredo, commonly known as Kike, started his work in Southeast Asia back in 1985. He first worked with Cambodian people, mostly with the disabled, through the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in the refugee camps in Thailand and later in Banteay Prieb, a technical formation school for disabled people facilitating the repatriation of refugees. The Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang, where Kike is now based, covers 9 provinces, supporting 26 communities and the populat...

2012 Destination Justice Annual Rule of Law Report

Destination Justice has today released a Report on Rule of Law in Cambodia, focusing on 2012. This report provides insight into the challenges and progress in developing the rule of law in Cambodia in the past year by outlining the most significant rule of law developments that occurred. In particular, the 2012 report features land titling issues, Beehive radio owner Mam Sonando’s trial, main opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s possible return before the upcoming 2013 national elections, the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Cambodia, and more. The Cambodian Annual Rule of Law Report is intended to reach a global community of law practitioners and students, the report focuses on areas of justice, law making and implementation, violations and improvements concerning human rights standards.

Cambodia: the electoral process

Background In 1991, after having suffered of civil war for about two decades, the Cambodian political system marked a new turning point. All belligerents signed the Paris Peace Agreement, whose main purposes were to establish a ceasefire and hold democratic elections. It is no later than September 21, 1993 that a democratic Constitution was adopted. Under article 78 of Cambodian Constitution, the elections are held every five years. The Government is borned by the National assembly and shall be held accountable to this same body. Celebrating its 20 years this year, the 1993 Cambodian Constitution already saw the general elections being held four times, and will insure that the July, 28 2013 general elections will be held democratically. In order to better understand the electoral process i...

Cambodia gets ready for a Week Seminar with the Permanent Court of Arbitration

Next week, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) the world’s preeminent arbitration institution will host an international arbitration workshop series attended by delegates from Cambodian government institutions, and academics and students. This series has been organised by the PCA in partnership with the Phnom Penh office of the organisation Destination Justice. The workshop series will take place between Monday, January 21 and Friday, January 25 and feature in-depth discussions between delegates and PCA officials on the the nature and advantages of international arbitration. In particular, it will  explain the role of the PCA and is intended to enhance cooperation between the Court and the Cambodian government. These workshops will be attended by some 55 government officials and preem...

“A River Changes Course”, A Devastatingly Beautiful New Take on the Cambodian Experience

“I feel my life is divided in half,” says Khieu Mok. Compelled by her family’s mounting debts to trade the farmer’s life in Svay Rieng for work in a garment factory on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Khieu is torn between keeping her factory job in order to pay down those debts more aggressively, or returning to the mother who now longs for her return. At a loss, she finally doles out the fee to use a shop’s telephone, and with a brave face, phones her mother for guidance. Upon being told to come home, Khieu hangs up and, seemingly torn between relief and worry, covers her face in her hands. This is one of countless heartrending moments captured in A River Changes Course, a new documentary film produced by the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) with Youk Chhang as executive producer, d...

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