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New approaches to international justice in Cambodia and East Timor

31-03-2002 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 845, by Suzannah Linton

Suzannah Linton,
practises international law, has worked in many countries, including East Timor, and is currently based in Cambodia. This article is written in a personal capacity. Developments up to 31 December 2001 are incorporated. The decision of the United Nations to end negotiations with Cambodia to set up a tribunal, announced on 8 February 2002, is not specifically discussed in this article. 

T he United Nations Transitional Administration (UNTAET) in East Timor, established by Security Council resolution 1272 (1999), set up a Special Panel at the District Court of Dili to try serious crimes committed during the violence that broke out in September 1999 after the referendum on independence. In Cambodia, the international community has taken the initiative to ensure that the crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge regime do not go unpunished.
After outlining the background to these two decisions, the author takes a closer look at the initial implementation of this new approach which, instead of creating an ad hoc international tribunal, sets up a form of internationalized domestic jurisdiction. However, much remains to be done to bring about a justice system which operates satisfactorily.  

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