What's in a Name? 'Reparations' at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

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Abstract

This article is an analysis of the reparations mandate at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a hybrid court established to prosecute crimes perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge regime in 1975-1979. Using Peter Dixon’s framework of responsibility, recognition, process, form and impact, the article considers the Court’s language and practice of ‘reparations’ in light of current conceptual framings of reparations in the context of transitional justice. In addition to highlighting the gap that can exist between the supposed symbolic value of reparations and victims’ experiences of reparation awards in practice, the article suggests that the ECCC’s experience of attempting to deliver reparations are illustrative of the broader conceptual incoherence of reparations within transitional justice and the challenges which can face international criminal bodies tasked with delivering reparations. Given these challenges, we suggest that a more modest and complementary approach to the delivery of reparations is required.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
JournalMelbourne Journal of International Law
Volume21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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