Victims, Atrocity and International Criminal Justice: Lessons from Cambodia, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Victims, Atrocity and International Criminal Justice

Lessons from Cambodia, 1st Edition

By Rachel Killean


246 pages

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Paperback: 9780367895471
pub: 2020-01-14
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Hardback: 9781138737761
pub: 2018-07-09
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While international criminal courts have often been declared as bringing ‘justice’ to victims, their procedures and outcomes historically showed little reflection of the needs and interests of victims themselves. This situation has changed significantly over the last sixty years; victims are increasingly acknowledged as having various ‘rights’, while their need for justice has been deployed as a means of justifying the establishment of international criminal courts. However, it is arguable that the goals of political and legal elites continue to be given precedence, and the ability of courts to deliver ‘justice to victims’ remains contested. This book contributes to this important debate through an examination of the role of victims as civil parties within the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Drawing on a series of interviews with civil parties, court practitioners and civil society actors, the book explores the way in which both the ECCC and the role of victims within it are shaped by specific political, economic and legal contexts; examining the ‘gap’ between the legitimising value of the ‘imagined victim’, and the extent to which victims are able to further their interests within the courtroom.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Victimology, Victims’ Rights and the Politicised Victim

3. Compromised Justice: The Road to the ECCC

4. Judicial Policy Making and the Shaping of Civil Party Participation

5. Practitioner Perspectives on Working for and with Victims

6. Professionalised Civil Society and the Civil Party System

7. Civil Parties, Justice and Legitimacy at the ECCC

8. Conclusion

About the Author

Rachel Killean is a lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast

About the Series

Transitional Justice

The study of transitional justice has emerged as one of the most diverse and intellectual exciting developments in the social sciences in the last two decades. From its origins in human rights activism and comparative political science the field is increasingly characterised by its geographic and disciplinary breadth. Routledge’s Transitional Justice series publishes innovative work across a range of disciplines working on transitional justice related topics: including law, sociology, criminology, psychology, anthropology, political science, development studies and international relations.

The series includes titles which address larger theoretical questions on transitional justice, including the intersection of notions such as justice, truth, accountability, impunity and the construction of transitional justice knowledge. It also contains critical and theoretically informed empirical work on the workings of institutions such as truth commissions, community based reconciliation, victim empowerment, ex-combatant demobilisation, or regional discussions on practical programmes in particular areas. Finally, the series covers the legal aspects of transitional justice; although, avoiding dry, overly technical or dull legal texts, it specialises in a style of legal scholarship that reflects the energy and vitality of this exciting field.

For further details on the series please contact the Series Editor.

Kieran McEvoy

Professor of Law and Transitional Justice

School of Law

Queens University Belfast


44 (0) 2890973873

[email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / International
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Genocide & War Crimes
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Violence in Society