Ms. Megan Hirst of Australia has been selected as the new international Civil Party Lead Co-Lawyer at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). She replaces Ms. Marie Guiraud (France), who resigned in June 2019, effective 26 August 2019.
Ms. Hirst has 15 years of experience working in international criminal and human rights law. She holds an LLB from the University of Queensland and an LLM from Cambridge University. For the past ten years Ms. Hirst has specialised in victims’ participation in international criminal proceedings. She has represented victims before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the case of Prosecutor v Dominic Ongwen and in pre-trial proceedings relating to the Situation in Bangladesh/Myanmar and the Situation in Afghanistan. Previously she worked as a registry official in the ICC’s Victims Participation and Reparations Section, and in the Victims’ Participation Unit of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. She is co-editor of the book Victim Participation in International Criminal Justice, and currently serves as Co-Vice President for Victims of the ICC Bar Association (2019-2020).
Ms. Hirst also practises law at the Bar of England and Wales where she has represented victims before the public inquiry into sexual abuse. In addition to her work as counsel, Ms. Hirst regularly undertakes international projects relating to human rights and rule of law development. She has extensive experience in Timor-Leste where she has worked since 2005 on responses to historical mass atrocities and the strengthening of the justice sector.
Ms. Hirst will work together with the national Civil Party Lead Co-Lawyer, Mr. Pich Ang, in the proceedings in Case 002/02. The Civil Parties ensure the effective organisation of the representation of civil parties who are victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ECCC who may join the proceedings and pursue claims for moral and collective reparations. The Civil Party Lead Co-Lawyers’ core responsibilities include representing the interests of the consolidated group of civil parties, overall advocacy, strategy and in-court presentation of the interests of the civil parties in close conjunction with individual civil party lawyers.