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Mr. Philip Short, who appeared before the Trial Chamber during four days of hearings this this week, is one of several experts who have provided expert testimony in Case 001 and Case 002/01.
The Internal Rules of the ECCC allow the Trial Chamber to seek expert opinion on any subject deemed necessary to the proceedings (Internal Rule Rule 31 (1) ). An expert shall be appointed through a judicial order, which specifies his/her exact assignment. ((Internal Rule Rule 31 (3) ).
The Trial Chamber has further elaborated on the roles of experts as follows*:
“Other hybrid and international tribunals have considered as experts individuals possessing relevant skill or specialised knowledge acquired through education, experience or training in the proposed field of expertise.. The mere fact that an expert witness has a previous association with an external organization does not disqualify him or her from being called as an expert. Under the ECCC legal framework, all experts are appointed by the Chamber to ensure independence. Experts are obliged to testify with the utmost neutrality and objectivity, and challenges regarding bias of a witness called as an expert are a matter related to the evaluation of the evidence given by him and not its admissibility. In determining whether an individual possesses sufficient credentials to be called as an expert, a Chamber may have recourse to the individual's curriculum vitae, articles, publications or other information relating to him or her relevant to the subject on which expertise is required, including the proposed expert's former and present positions.
According to the international jurisprudence, the role of expert witnesses is to enlighten the Chamber on specific issues of a technical nature, requiring special knowledge in a specific field. They provide clarification, context, or additional assistance for the purpose of a Chamber's assessment of evidence, but do not testify on disputed facts as would fact witnesses. Expert witnesses may not express opinions on ultimate issues of fact, as only the Chamber is competent to make a judicial determination on the issues in the case. Fact witnesses, on the other hand, testify about the crimes with which an Accused charged, but may express opinions only in so far as they emanate from personal experience. Their testimony is limited to what they personally saw, heard or experienced”.
Certain expert witnesses may also have knowledge of facts being adjudicated. In the case of Philip Short, the Trial Chamber decided that, as he was principally sought by parties due though his personal knowledge of facts relevant to Democratic Kampuchea through interviews with leaders and cadres, he could also be questioned on facts within his personal knowledge relevant to Case 002/01.
Other expert witnesses in Case 002/01 during trial:
Professor David Chandler
Medical experts who testified about the health condition of the Accused:
Dr. Seena Fazel
Professor John Campbell
Dr. Lim Sivutha
Case 001 expert witnesses during trial:
Dr. Chhim Sotheara was called to testify as an expert on the psychological impact of the Khmer Rouge regime.
Professor Craig Etcheson was called as an expert to testify on the implementation of the Communist Party of Kampuchea’s (CPK) policy.
Professor David Chandler was called as an expert to testify on the functioning of S-21.
Professor Ka Sunbaunat and Dr. Françoise Sironi-Guilbaud was called as an expert to present a psychological assessment of the Accused conducted in 2008 with an update in August 2009.
Former correspondent Mr. Nayan Chanda testified as an expert on the issue of armed conflict, focusing on the Cambodian-Vietnamese conflict during the Khmer Rouge regime.
Raoul Marc Jennar was called to testify as an expert on issues relating to practical and theoretical foundations and operations of the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) regime of terror.
Justice Richard Goldstone was called as an expert to testify on issues relating to guilty pleas in international criminal tribunals.
Stéphane Hessel was called in order to contribute as an expert on the issue of forgiveness.
* Decision on assignment of experts, E215, 5 July 2012 para 15-16