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Russell Hopkins, International Senior Legal Officer of Trial Chamber

VOICES FROM THE ECCC (Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia)/THE KHMER ROUGE TRIBUNAL.

  1. Could you please tell us your name, your position with the ECCC (and how long you were there), and a brief summary of your responsibilities?
  2. (advised Cambodian judges) You were responsible for giving advice on the most complex and sensitive legal issues for the Trial Chamber.  Could you tell us about some of the more challenging questions or topics that you faced as they pertain to international criminal law?  If you prefer not to discuss particular issues or questions, could you describe the process in which these questions or topics were considered, discussed, and resolved within the Trial Chamber?
  3. What about challenges regarding policies, practices, procedures, or rules of the Chamber?  If you prefer not to discuss the exact issues or questions, could you tell us about the informal process in which management decisions were hashed out?
  4. Were there any areas in which you thought the court’s makeup could be improved?  Any anecdotes to illustrate this?
  5. What parts of the court worked well?
  6. Were there best practices that you observed during your time in the ECCC or lessons learned for future courts? Any anecdotes to illustrate these?
  7. Could you tell us about your interactions with the judges? Were there any you particularly liked working with or learned from?  Any anecdotes on the relationships between the judges (i.e., how they interacted or worked together)?
  8. What about your interactions with staff? Any staff you learned from?  Can you provide any anecdotes on relationships between the judges and staff?
  9. You have worked in other tribunals (namely the ICTR and ICTY).  Were there any significant differences in the organizational cultures between the ECCC and the other courts? If so, what do you think drove those differences?
  10. Did you notice any restrictions or freedoms associated with your work that were unique to the ECCC?
  11. What do you see to be significant challenges for future courts handling mass atrocities based on your work at the ECCC?

( November 04, 2019)