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Victims' Rights

One of the killing fields in Phnom Penh

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Legal Representation

Legal representation is a key feature to allow Victims to access, understand and effectively participate in proceedings before the ECCC. This is especially so when Victims wish to participate as Civil Parties and make claims for reparations. Before the ECCC, Victims may be represented either by a national lawyer acting alone, or by a foreign lawyer acting in conjunction with a national lawyer.
Rule 12bis (1) (c) of the Internal Rules of the ECCC states that the Victims Support Section (VSS) shall maintain a list of foreign and national lawyers who wish to represent Victims or Victims’ Associations before the ECCC. Lawyers seeking to represent Victims before the ECCC must be included on this list. Victims will then be able to make an informed selection from among the lawyers on this list. Victims may also engage a lawyer who is not on the list. In such a case, this lawyer will need to contact the VSS to be included on the list, before he or she can represent Victims before the ECCC (See the section below on the criteria for inclusion on the list of lawyers.)
Efforts have been taken to ensure that all Civil Parties have access to legal representation even when they are unable to afford it. Presently, the lawyers who represent Civil Parties mostly do so on a pro-bono basis or from contributions from outside the ECCC. In addition, the VSS has engaged a legal team to represent Civil Parties before the ECCC. 

Criteria for Inclusion on the List of Lawyers

Cambodian lawyers wishing to represent Civil Parties must meet the following criteria in order to be included in the List of Lawyers of the VSS:
-    To be a current member of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia;
-    To have established competence in criminal law and procedure at the international or national level.

Foreign lawyers wishing to represent Civil Parties must meet the following criteria in order to be included in the List of Lawyers of the VSS:
-    To be a current member in good standing of a recognized association of lawyers of a United Nations member state;
-    To have a degree in law or an equivalent legal or professional qualification;
-    To be fluent in Khmer, French or English;
-    To have established competence in criminal law and procedure at the international or national level;
-    To have relevant working experience in criminal proceedings, as a lawyer, judge or prosecutor, or in some other capacity;
-    Not to have been convicted of a serious criminal or disciplinary offence considered to be incompatible with representing a victim before the ECCC.
-    In addition, foreign Co-Lawyers must register with the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

VSS Support to Civil Party Lawyers
VSS provides administrative support to Civil Parties Lawyers base on its existing and available resources.

Application Process

National and Foreign Application who wish to register in the list of lawyers maintained by Victims Support Section to represent the Victims before ECCC shall complete the relevant forms in lawyer Application Form Section.

National Lawyer shall complete the Cambodian Co-lawyer Application Form attached with the most updated Resume, 2 passport size photos, and the certificate of membership of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC). Completed Application forms and supporting document shall be sent by post to Victims Support Section (VSS), Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC). All application will be assessed within one month of receipt of the completed application.

Foreign lawyer shall complete the application for registration with the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) and Foreign Co-lawyer Application Form attached with the most updated Resume, 2 passport size photos, a copy of passport, Certificate of Good Standing, Initial or Current Registration, and other relevant Supporting Documents, Completed Application form and supporting documents shall be sent by post to Victims Support Section (VSS) , Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). All application will be assessed within one month of receipt of the completed application.

Lawyer Application Forms

 
Victims Participation

1- What is a complainant?

Any person or legal entity who has useful information regarding the crimes of the Khmer Rouge under the jurisdiction of the ECCC can file a complaint by filling out the Victim Information Form and submitting it to the Victims Support Section (VSS). The information in the complaint may then be used to help in the investigations. Complainants do not participate as parties in hearings, and they are not entitled to ask the court for reparations. They may however be requested to give evidence or testify as witnesses.

2- What is a Civil Party?

Civil Parties are formal participants in the proceedings against those allegedly responsible for the crimes under investigation by the ECCC, and they enjoy rights broadly similar to the prosecution and the defence. Becoming a Civil Party not only gives Victims the right to actively participate in the proceedings, but it also allows Victims to ask the court for collective and moral reparations from the convicted persons.

3- What is a Witness?

Witness is a person who can give a firsthand or factual account relevant to investigations and trials that fall within the mandate of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).  This factual account is referred to as "evidence". You may be interviewed by an investigating judge or their representative.  Alternatively, you may be summoned before the Trial Chamber and be required to testify in the courtroom of the ECCC, which is located in Phnom Penh.

 
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Today: 19 July 2018

Victims Support Section of the ECCC