The DSS provides legal support to defence teams at the ECCC, improving the effectiveness of the defence. DSS staff have knowledge of international criminal law and are able to conduct detailed legal research and analysis on key issues that come before the Court.
Staff of the DSS have worked in many different war crimes courts around the world, as defence lawyers, defence office staff, trial observers or associate legal officers. They have experience at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo and the Regulation 64 panels in Kosovo. The DSS has informal links with the defence offices at many of these tribunals.
The DSS has an agreement with Washington and Lee Law School in the United States of America to provide an enhanced research capability for defence lawyers at the ECCC. Postgraduate students provide detailed analysis on legal issues before the Court for the benefit of the defence.
The DSS also has an agreement with the Conférence of the Paris Bar to provide pro bono research on legal issues relating to the Defence at the ECCC and in particular on issues related to French criminal law and procedure. This support is helpful to defence teams in gaining insight into the Cambodian legal system which is patterned on the French civil law system.
Tools of the Trade
The DSS has a library with all the key international criminal law text books in English and French as well as full versions of all of the case reports from other tribunals and human rights bodies. There is a substantial collection of legal materials relevant for the defence in electronic and paper format that has been built up in association with defence offices at other tribunals.
The DSS also has use of key software for case preparation and analysis. DSS staff have expertise in CaseMap, ZyLAB, Case Matrix and other software useful for large scale cases and can provide training in its use.