As reported in the last edition of the KRT Trial Monitor, on the same day evidentiary hearings in Case 002/02 began, the Defense Teams for Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan brought ECCC proceedings to a standstill by announcing their decision to boycott the trial. The Defense counsels for the co-Accused have remained adamant that they will not return to the courtroom until certain concerns are addressed and requests are satisfied. The team for Nuon Chea demands the judges of the Chamber voluntarily step down while a Special Bench empanelled by the Judicial Administration Committee considers pending motions for their disqualification from Case 002/02, and the team for Khieu Samphan asks that substantive proceedings in Case 002/02 resume only after the appellate filings in Case 002/01 conclude. In the two weeks since the start of the boycott, both the Trial Chamber and the OCP have sought to compel the defense teams back to the courtroom in order to proceed. The Parties have turned to both international jurisprudence and domestic Cambodian procedural guidelines to justify their arguments regarding the legality of the boycott.
AIJI is publishing this special report on the boycott in order to provide more detailed discussion of the body of relevant international law and domestic legal codes the Parties to the proceedings have cited in regard to this matter. Section II of this report complements the KRT Trial Monitor’s prior summary of the boycott announcement on 17-18 October 2014, with a summary of developments over the subsequent two weeks. This section provides procedural context to those developments with references to the ECCC Internal Rules, and it relates the conduct of Defense counsel to pertinent standards found in Cambodian laws and professional codes. Section II also analyzes cases from other international tribunals that have dealt with similar issues of defense representation, trial boycotts, and the disqualification of judges.
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KRT Trial Monitor’s Special Report: Defense Teams’ Boycott (31 October 2014) corresponds with Facing Justice Episode 50.