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21 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 143 (2008)
Justice Delayed - Recent Developments at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

handle is hein.journals/hhrj21 and id is 147 raw text is: Recent Developments

In April 1975 the Khmer Rouge seized control of Cambodia and began
the drastic reorganization of Cambodian society that would, in the brief
course of three years, eight months, and twenty days, leave 1.7 million
Cambodians-nearly a fifth of the population-dead from starvation, dis-
ease, overwork, armed conflict, and mass execution., Some thirty years later,
hope has finally emerged that several of the individuals most responsible for
some of the most horrific violations of human rights seen in the world
since the end of the Second World War2 may finally be brought to ac-
count for their actions. Between July and November of 2007, the Extraordi-
nary  Chambers in      the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the           hybrid
Cambodian-international tribunal tasked with investigating and prosecut-
ing those responsible for crimes committed in Cambodia between 1975 and
1979, arrested five former Khmer Rouge leaders and charged them with
crimes against humanity and war crimes.3 While enthusiasm for this pro-
gress should be tempered by concerns about the obstacles that remain for
the ECCC to surmount, any step towards justice this long delayed marks a
significant moment for the future of Cambodia.
The significance of the recent work of the ECCC can only be understood
in the context of the events of the 1970s, which illustrate both the ECCC's
undeniable importance and the difficulties the tribunal faces.
A.   The Horrors of the Democratic Kampuchea Period
The morning of April 17, 1975-the day Phnom Penh fell to the forces
of the Khmer Rouge-would come to mark a horrific turning point in
1. The Group of Experts for Cambodia, Report of the Group of Experts for Cambodia Pursuant to General
Assembly Resolution 521135,   1, U.N. Doc. S/1999/231, A/53/850 (Mar. 16, 1999) [hereinafter Group
of Experts Report].
2. Id.
3. Kevin Doyle, Cambodia Arrests Brother No. 2, TIME, Sept. 19, 2007, http://www.time.com/time/
world/article/0,8599,1663314,00.html; Ek Madra, Court Charges Khmer Rouge President, REUTERS, Nov.
19, 2007, http: //uk. reuters.com /article/topNews/idUKBKK8935020071119? feedType = RSS& feed
Name= topNews&pageNumber= 1&virtualBrandChannel = 0.

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