Genocide Recognition at the Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia

On 16 November 2018, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), also known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, delivered its much anticipated second judgement against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, two former senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime. This judgement features the Court’s first convictions for genocide perpetrated during the regime, finding both defendants guilty of genocide against the ethnic Vietnamese population, and Nuon Chea guilty of genocide against the Cham Islamic population. In this seminar, we discuss recent developments at the ECCC, and the implications of this judgement for genocide recognition, social repair and minorities’ cultural heritage in Cambodia, drawing on our research with the Cham and ethnic Vietnamese communities.

This event is a collaboration between the Institute for International Law and the Humanities and the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at Melbourne law School.

Dr Rachel Killean is a Lecturer in Law at Queen’s University Belfast. She is author of Victims, Atrocity and International Criminal Justice: Lessons from Cambodia (Routledge), which examines the role of victims within transitional justice processes, with a particular emphasis on the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. She is also a Co-Investigator on the ‘Restoring Cultural Property and Communities after Conflict’ project, which looks at the destruction of the Cham Islamic group’s cultural property during the Khmer Rouge regime, and the ‘Whose Voices are Heard?’ project, which explores representations of victimhood at sites of ‘dark tourism’ in Cambodia..

Dr Christoph Sperfeldt is Senior Research Fellow at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at Melbourne Law School. Prior to this, Christoph was Deputy Director at the Asian International Justice Initiative, a joint program of the East-West Center and the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University, where he has supported human rights and rule of law capacity-building efforts in Southeast Asia. From 2007 to 2011, he was Senior Advisor with the German development cooperation (GIZ) in Cambodia.