Mr. Robert Petit


Mr. Robert Petit served as the international Co-Prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia from 2006 to 31 August 2009. 

He began his professional career in Canada in 1989, where he served both as a provincial (Quebec) and federal prosecutor. Since 2001, he is a Counsel with the War Crimes Section of the Canadian Department of Justice from where he is currently on leave..

In 1996, he joined as a Legal Officer in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), where he served for three years.

After ICTR, Robert Petit joined the United Nations Mission in Kosovo to work as a Regional Legal Advisor.

In 2002, he became a Prosecutor for the Serious Crimes Unit as part of the United Nations Mission of Assistance to East Timor. One year later, he was appointed a Senior Trial Attorney in the Special Court for Sierra Leone. 

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Appointment of Acting International Co-Prosecutor

On 29 August 2009, the Supreme Council of Magistracy of Cambodia, upon the nomination of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, appointed, as an interim measure,  Mr. William Smith (Australia) as the Acting International Co-Prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.  His appointment shall be effective 1 September 2009.  This appointment has been made pending the decision on the permanent replacement for the current International Co-Prosecutor, Mr. Robert Petit, whose resignation takes effect on the same date. Two nominations for the permanent replacement have been forwarded by the Secretary-General to the Royal Government of Cambodia for a decision by the Supreme Council of Magistracy.   William Smith (to the right) during ECCC proceedings on 15 July 2009.Mr. Smith has been the international Deputy Co-Prosecutor of the ECCC for the last 3 years.  Between 1995 and 2006, Mr. Smith worked as a trial attorney, legal officer and analyst at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. Prior to that, Mr. Smith practiced criminal law in South Australia as a defence barrister and solicitor as well as a prosecutor for the South Australian Police Department. Mr. Smith was educated at the University of Adelaide where he received a degree in law and arts.   He also obtained a masters in international law from Leiden University in the Netherlands.  

The international Co-Prosecutor Robert Petit attended the weekly press brifeing and made a statement regarding the announcement that he is stepping down effective from 1 September 2009

Written Version of the Oral Statement Delivered by the International Co- Prosecutor Robert Petit During the Press Conference of 24 June 2009

Press Statement of the International Co-Prosecutor

I is with the deepest regret that, for personal and family reasons, I must demit my position as International Co-Prosecutor effective 1 September 2009. It has been the greatest privilege of my career to have the opportunity to bring some justice to the victims of the crimes of the Khmer Rouge. I remain convinced that Cambodia’s hopes for a better future lie, in part, on true accountability for crimes.