Document Type


Publication Date

June 2020



First Page



Every international and hybrid war crimes court has attracted a measure of controversy, but none more than the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). While myriad aspects of the ECCC’s record are crucial to its legacy, this article explores one question of overarching importance: whether its performance has justified a key risk the UN assumed when it agreed to support the court — that case selection would be improperly influenced by the Cambodian government. More particularly, it assesses the ECCC’s performance in light of two questions: How well have safeguards against political interference worked? Are survivors of Khmer Rouge atrocities and other Cambodian citizens satisfied with ECCC justice? Along with their intrinsic importance, these benchmarks for assessment derive from the primacy of both considerations in deliberations leading to the Court’s creation.