Home / Post

ON TRIAL: The Khmer Rouge Accountability Process, Edited by John D. Ciorciari and and Anne Heindel Foreword by Youk Chhang (2009)

This book is dedicated to the victims of Democratic Kampuchea and to  promoting a legal accountability process that will honor their memories and provide their families with justice.

John Ciorciari is an Assistant Professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and a Senior Legal Advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia.

Anne Heindel is a Legal Advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia.

Youk Chhang is Director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia. He is a survivor of the Killing Fields and received the Truman-Reagan Freedom Award from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in 2000. He was also named one of Time magazine’s “60 Asian Heroes” in 2006 and one of the “Time 100” most influential people in the world in 2007 for his stand against impunity in Cambodia and elsewhere.

“The Khmer Rouge Tribunal is profoundly important to Cambodians and non-Cambodians around the world. It excites passion, arouses controversy, and offers to many victims the hope of justice too long delayed. This timely and essential book provides an excellent overview of the Tribunal, a thoughtful review of its progress to date, and sensible suggestions on how it can best meet its obligations to the Cambodian people and the international community.”

–Dr. Sophal Ear, Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and survivor of Democratic Kampuchea.

This book of essays On Trial: the Khmer Rouge Accountability Process is well-timed, as the first ECCC trial of ‘Duch’ the former chairman of the notorious S-21 draws to a close. On Trial will take an important place among the many books and articles written about the recent history of Cambodia and particularly the Khmer Rouge period. It provides a useful historical and intellectual context for the trials currently underway in Phnom Penh before the ECCC. For observers and academics its most useful sections may prove to be those that analyse the law, jurisprudence and procedures governing the trials and the many issues that this unique Tribunal has overcome and has yet to resolve. The essays also pose many insightful questions and offer some tentative proposals for improvement in procedure and victim participation.

DC-Cam has again assisted in the vital task of providing the public with information that helps unravel the tragic puzzle of how to deal with the aftermath of Democratic Kampuchean policies and practices in Cambodia.

–Judge Silvia Cartwright, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

This invaluable collection of essays, sponsored by the Cambodian NGO that has pioneered research on the Khmer Rouge era, provides a wealth of information about the so-called Khmer Rouge Tribunal. On Trial is accessible, well researched, and passionately engaged with the innumerable tragedies of the Khmer Rouge period. Its authors argue that the ongoing trials may possibly lead toward deeper reconciliation and certainly a deeper knowledge of what happened throughout the country in those horrific years.

-David Chandler. Professor Emeritus of history at Monash University, Dr. Chandler is a renowned historian of Cambodia, whose published works include The Tragedy of Cambodian History: Politics, War, and Revolution since 1945, Brother Number One: A Political Biography of Pol Pot, and Voices from S-2: Terror and History in Pol Pot’s Secret Prison.

Funded and Supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), Sweden and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), USA.