restricted access Chapter 8. Connecting to Cambodians: Outreach and Legacy
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231 Chapter 8 Connecting to Cambodians Outreach and Legacy A strong link to the society most affected by atrocities is arguably central to achieving many of the expressed objectives of hybrid and international tribunals—­ such as deterring future crimes, developing legal norms and institutions , ministering to victims’ needs, and providing an official account of past atrocities.1 In addition to cost considerations and sovereignty concerns, the hybrid model is premised in significant part on the notion that in situ proceedings with strong national participation help connect survivors to the criminal process and build institutional ties that promote local judicial reform.2 In a 2004 report to the Security Council, UN Secretary-­ General Kofi Annan laid out that argument clearly, writing that hybrid in situ tribunals have important benefits,“including easier interaction with the local population, closer proximity to the evidence and witnesses and being more accessible to victims.”3 Such accessibility allows victims and their families to witness the processes in which their former tormentors are brought to account. National location also enhances the national capacity-­ building contribution of the [ ] tribunals, allowing them to bequeath their physical infrastructure (including buildings, equipment and furniture) to national justice systems, and to build the skills of national justice personnel. In the nationally located tribunals, international personnel work side by side with their national counterparts and on-­ the-­ job training can be provided to national lawyers, officials and staff. Such benefits, where combined with specially tailored measures for keeping the public informed and 232 / Hybrid Justice effective techniques for capacity-­building, can help ensure a lasting legacy in the countries concerned.4 The ECCC touts those advantages, emphasizing that unlike the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (ICTY and ICTR), the Khmer Rouge trials provide for“full national involvement in the trials” and are “held in Cambodia, conducted mainly in Khmer, open to participation by Cambodian people and reported via local television, radio and newspapers.”5 The ECCC also asserts that its proceedings present“an excellent opportunity to bolster the understanding of the criminal trial process within Cambodia.”6 This chapter examines the extent to which the ECCC’s hybrid institutional structure , high level of national participation, and in-­ country location have in fact contributed to effective outreach to survivors, capacity-­ building, and judicial reform. The Related Functions of Outreach and Legacy Mass crimes courts tend to cluster activities that promote social engagement and impact under the overlapping umbrellas of “outreach” and“legacy.” Neither term has a single standard definition, but outreach normally refers to a bundle of communication activities that inform and engage the affected population. Outreach functions are closely linked to public affairs and media relations but are not synonymous. Outreach implies at a minimum dissemination of basic information about court processes, but preferably goes further to promote dialogue with victims and their communities in terms they can understand.7 For example, the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s public information strategy defines outreach as: [A] process of establishing sustainable, two‐way communication between the Court and communities affected by situations that are the subject of investigations or proceedings. It aims to provide information, promote understanding and support for the Court’s work, and to provide access to judicial proceedings.8 Effective outreach can enhance a tribunal’s legacy by demonstrating best judicial practices and building public trust in the rule of law. For example, Ou Virak, Connecting to Cambodians / 233 President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, has noted that outreach , including media coverage and public attendance at hearings, “can play a role in demonstrating and developing an understanding of core fair trial rights and the processes and procedures of a court operating based on international standards of justice.”9 The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) defines legacy as a court’s“lasting impact on bolstering the rule of law in a particular society, by conducting effective trials to contribute to ending impunity, while also strengthening domestic judicial capacity.”10 This definition encompasses professional development, the provision of physical infrastructure, catalysis of domestic legal reform, and development of local confidence in the rule of law. A positive legacy thus depends both on a court’s“demonstration effects” and capacity-­ building measures. Outreach It is often said that justice needs to be seen to be done.11 However, outreach has been a weakness of international tribunals and is not an automatic strength of hybrid courts. Outreach in postconflict states inevitably faces serious obstacles, although...