Revolution and international criminal law: The extraordinary chambers in the courts of Cambodia
MetadataShow full item record
This item's downloads: 0 (view details)
This doctoral thesis examines whether and how a context of revolution impacts the application of international criminal law through a case study of the revolutionary context during the Democratic Kampuchea era in Cambodia, specifically through the jurisprudence generated at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (the ECCC). This study contributes to the understanding of the seemingly unavoidable violence for certain political causes and the subsequent criminal responsibility mechanisms that may flow given the development of international criminal justice. The author argues that the jurisprudence of the ECCC shows that a revolutionary context may influence the application of international criminal law primarily through the elements of crimes against humanity and genocide and the joint criminal enterprise mode of liability doctrine. A significant part of this thesis has sought to analyse and demonstrate how the ECCC has addressed the revolutionary context of a complex situation and the subsequent limits and contradictions of its approach. Although the ECCC has dismissed the consideration of the revolutionary context in defences and sentencing, this study argues that this dismissal could be interpreted as showing bias of a pre-determined assumption of guilt and being mostly driven by the tribunal’s goal of punishing the accused. Broad interpretations of international criminal law adopted by the ECCC are not without flaws, especially given that it is a retroactive justice mechanism.