Making the extraordinary ordinary: the Khmer Rouge tribunal, justice in transition and the promise of a juridical legacy in Cambodia

Image of Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 02 June 2015


Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building (8), Fellows Road, ANU
ANU Canberra


Michelle Staggs Kelsall


Emma Larking
+61 (0)2 6125 1513

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (‘ECCC’) is ‘a special Cambodian court’ receiving international assistance from the United Nations to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed during the Khmer Rouge period. 

Despite being marred by political interference, since 2010, key actors at the United Nations have annotated Cambodia’s domestic Code of Criminal Procedure with the ECCC’s jurisprudence, in an attempt to ensure its decisions precipitate an emerging juridical culture in the national system.  Both the project and its aspirations throw into sharp relief the nature of ordinary justice in Cambodia, a country that continues to be in a so-called ‘transition toward democracy’. 

Drawing from debates about the nature of international criminal law; the purpose of transitional justice; and a rights-oriented application of domestic law in the absence of a legalized international human rights order, this talk will explore how the ECCC’s extraordinary jurisprudence is being made quotidian and functional, and why this might transform the way we assess the value of internationalized justice processes.

Michelle Staggs Kelsall is a Malaysian/Australian lawyer and the Deputy Director of the Human Rights Resource Centre (for ASEAN). She is a recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Award from the University of Nottingham, where she will be begin her doctoral research in the Faculty of Law in September 2015. She is a visitor to the Centre for International Governance and Justice, Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet).

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet