Co-Rapporteurs on Residual Functions Related to Victims Deliver Their Report

Today, the Co-Rapporteurs on Residual Functions related to Victims, Judge You OTTARA and Judge Claudia FENZ, delivered their report containing views and recommendations on appropriate initiatives regarding victims of the Khmer Rouge regime, which could be pursued by the ECCC as part of its residual functions.

The occasion was marked by a formal handover of the Report to Acting Director of Administration, H.E. KRANH Tony, and Deputy Director of Administration, Mr. Knut ROSANDHAUG, and in the presence of Mr. HANG Vannak, Head of the Victims Support Section at the Extraordinary Chambers.

Judge YOU commended the Office of Administration for starting this process and thanked contributors for their valuable submissions: “We are encouraged by the wide interest demonstrated. Let me take the opportunity to encourage others by reminding them that there is still room and time to contribute to this process, which has only just begun.” Judge YOU added that the momentum around victims could be “an exciting precedent for future courts”

Judge FENZ praised the ECCC’s achievements with regard to victims: “The ECCC can be proud of the scheme of victim participation, representation and reparation it has developed. It is unique and has been widely acknowledged as a key achievement. I believe that the ECCC’s residual phase commends itself both to contributing to the victims’ healing process and the wider aspiration of national reconciliation. Once again, the ECCC can lead the way, this time by continuing to actively engage with victims, stakeholders and the wider population. There is little precedent for this, which makes it an even more meaningful undertaking.”

H.E. Tony KRANH and Mr. Knut ROSANDHAUG welcomed the Co-Rapporteurs’ report and joined the Judges in extending their sincerest thanks to all contributors for their active engagement and submissions. The Acting Director and Deputy Director of Administration underscored the ECCC’s commitment to making heard the voices of victims of international crimes, encouraging all stakeholders to remain engaged with this initiative and stay tuned for further developments. “We agree with the Co-Rapporteurs that ‘the door to this exciting new phase in the ECCC’s history has only just been opened’”, they said.

Background.  On 2 July 2021, the Office of Administration nominated Judge You Ottara and Judge Claudia Fenz as Co-Rapporteurs to review the Draft Addendum to the UN-RGC Agreement on the Transitional Arrangements and the Completion of Work of the Extraordinary Chambers. In particular, the Administration requested the Co-Rapporteurs to submit a report containing their views and recommendations on possible undertakings which might be appropriate and meaningful for victims of the Khmer Rouge, per the ECCC’s jurisdiction.

The Co-Rapporteurs issued an open Call for Contributions of Ideas to collect “as broad a variety of ideas as possible”. Submissions which were received are discussed in their report.

Looking ahead.  His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni promulgated the Addendum on 9 November 2021 following its approval by the National Assembly and Senate. The ECCC will formally commence its residual functions upon the completion of judicial proceedings, for an initial period of three years.

Against the backdrop of the Addendum and the Co-Rapporteurs’ recommendations, the ECCC intends to host a workshop/conference in May 2022 to enable inclusive discussions to take place between victims, stakeholders and all interested parties on an actionable way forward. Further information about the event will be announced in due course.

Terms of reference for a coordinator, moderator and facilitator for the event have been posted to the UNAKRT website.

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