The backdrop to Bridging Divides in Transitional Justice is Cambodia’s history of radical Communist revolution (1975–1979) under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, and the culture of impunity and silence imposed on the society by successive national governments for close to three decades. Dialogue on the suppressed past began in 2006 as key figures of the regime were brought before the in situ internationalised criminal court, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). The ECCC forms part of the panoply of international criminal courts of the post-Cold War era. The book engages with the dissonance between the expressivism of idealised international criminal trials and their communicative or discursive value within the societies most affected by their operation. An alternative view of the transitional trial is posited as the author elucidates the limits of expressivism and explores the communicative dynamics of ECCC trial procedure which have precipitated unprecedented local debate and reflection on the Khmer Rouge era.
The book provides a timely and nuanced analysis of the ECCC’s politically contentious and frequently criticised proceedings by examination of the trial dialogue in the Court’s first two cases. From transcripts of the proceedings, exchanges between trial participants including witnesses, civil parties and the accused, are examined to show how, at times, the retributive proceedings assumed the character of restorative justice and encompassed significant dialogue on current social issues, such as the victim/perpetrator equation and the nature of ongoing post-traumatic stress disorder flowing from the events that took place under this violent regime The Court’s capacity for representative and discursive proceedings is attributed to the substantive inclusion of the voice of the victim in proceedings, a modified inquisitorial procedure, narrative testimony and role-sharing between national and international court actors.
Chapter 1. Introduction (p. 1)
Chapter 2. Trials in Transitional Justice Theory (p. 17)
Chapter 3. The Development of the Transitional Trial (p. 47)
Chapter 4. The Creation of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (p. 97)
Chapter 5. Inquisitorial Criminal Procedure at the ECCC (p. 135)
Chapter 6. Trial Dialogue in Case 001 (p. 171)
Chapter 7. The Voice of the Victim (p. 201)
Chapter 8. The Voice of the Court in Judgment: Case 001 (p. 241)
Chapter 9. Conclusion (p. 271)
Bibliography (p. 307)
Index (p. 329)
Countries emerging from long periods of authoritarian rule must often confront a legacy of gross human rights abuses perpetrated over many years. During the past two decades, these age-old issues have been termed “problems of transitional justice”, both by academics and policy makers around the world. Given the frequency with which these problems arise, as well as the complexity of the issues involved, it is striking that no book series has taken the issue of transitional justice as its point of focus.
The Series on Transitional Justice offers a platform for high-quality research within the rapidly growing field of transitional justice. This research is, of necessity, inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing from disciplines such as law, political science, history, sociology, criminology, anthropology and psychology, as well as from various specialised fields of study such as human rights, victimology and peace studies. It is furthermore international in outlook, drawing on the knowledge and experience of academics and other specialists in many different regions of the world.
The series is aimed at a variety of audiences who are either working or interested in fields such as crime and justice; human rights; humanitarian law and human security; conflict resolution and peace building. These audiences may include academics, researchers, students, policy makers, practitioners, non-governmental organisations and the media.
- Prof. Stephan Parmentier (University of Leuven, Belgium)
- Prof. Jeremy Sarkin (NOVA University of Lisbon School of Law, Portugal) and
- Dr. Mina Rauschenbach (Université de Lausanne, Switzerland and University of Leuven, Belgium)
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