Judge Rowan Downing QC


Rowan Downing was a judge in the Pre-Trial Chamber from May 2006 to January 2015. 

Judge Downing is a senior Australian lawyer. He has held senior judicial positions in the Pacific region, including Judge of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Vanuatu, dealing with serious criminal matters and large civil claims.

He has worked internationally for twenty years undertaking work including law reform (in respect of both criminal law and commercial law), human rights law, treaty implementation of human rights obligations, refugee law, administrative law, anti-corruption law and the investigation and prosecution of transnational crime.

Judge Downing has also worked with a number of multilateral organisations to improve the independence of the judiciary and systemic integrity within legal systems in many countries.

He has appeared as an advocate in numerous human rights cases and provided advice to a number of governments concerning human rights, particularly the rights of women and children.

He has extensive experience training advocates and members of the judiciary in South East Asia and the Pacific.

Judge Downing has also trained members of the Australian Defence Force in the fields of war crimes law, human rights and the laws of warfare.

  • Nationality : Australia
  • Office : Pre-Trial Chamber
  • Position : Former Pre-Trial Chamber Judge
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Déclaration des juges Rowan Downing et Chang-Ho CHUNG, juges internationaux de la Chambre préliminaire

Notant que la règle 21 du Règlement intérieur des CETC exige la transparence des procédures, et que les questions similaires ont été traitées publiquement par la Chambre préliminaire, les juges Chung et Downing font savoir, conformément à leurs droits et à leurs devoirs tels qu’ils ressortent de la règle 34 du Règlement intérieur des CETC, que, le 2 Mars 2012, ils se sont récusés dans l'examen de la Requête en récusation du Président de la Chambre préliminaire présentée par le co-juge d'instruction international suppléant et datée du 8 Février 2012, requête que le Président de la Chambre préli

Statement by Judges Downing and Chung, International Judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber

Noting that Rule 21 of the Internal Rules of the ECCC requires that there shall be transparency of process, and that previous similar matters have been handled publicly by the PTC, Judges Chung and Downing advise, pursuant to their right and duty expressed in Rule 34 of the Internal Rules of the ECCC, that on 2 March 2012 they recused themselves from consideration of the Application by the Reserve International Co-Investigating Judge for the Disqualification of the President of the Pre-Trial Chamber dated 8 February 2012, which matter was returned without deliberation or consultation with the

Pre-Trial Chamber finds that 1979 trial in absentia and royal amnesty do not bar prosecution against Ieng Sary

In a reasoned decision rendered on 11 April 2011, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) found that neither the in absentia conviction of Ieng Sary by the People’s Revolutionary Tribunal in 1979 nor the Royal Amnesty granted to him in 1996, bar the current prosecution of  Ieng Sary before the ECCC.

Case 002 sent for trial

Today, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has confirmed and partially amended the indictments against the Accused Persons Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea. The Pre-Trial Chamber has ordered the Accused Persons to be sent for trial and to continue to be held in provisional detention until they are brought before the Trial Chamber. The indictments include charges of crimes against humanity, genocide, grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and murder, torture and religious persecution as defined by the 1956 Cambodian Penal Code.The Co-Investigating Judges issued a Closing Order with the initial indictments of the Accused Persons on 15 September 2010. All four Accused Persons filed appeals against the Closing Order to the Pre-Trial Chamber.The Pre-Trial Chamber found that the appeal filed by Khieu Samphan was inadmissible, whereas the appeals filed by Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith and Nuon Chea were found to be admissible in part. Of the admissible parts, the Pre-Trial Chamber dismissed all the grounds of appeal with two exceptions. First, the Pre-Trial Chamber ordered that the Closing Order be amended with a specification for the requirement of the existence of a link between the underlying acts of crimes against humanity and an armed conflict.Secondly, the Pre-Trial Chamber also found that rape did not exist as a crime against humanity in its own right in the period 1975-1979, but that rape could be considered as “other inhumane acts” within the legal definition of crimes against humanity. The Closing Order was amended accordingly. The Pre-Trial Chamber will issue reasoned decisions on the appeals at a later date