Victimhood after mass violence: How victim participation at the ECCC and other dealing with the past projects effect justice

Foto: Williams (ZfK)

The research project “Victimhood after mass violence. How victim participation at the ECCC and other dealing with the past projects effect justice” interrogates the actual effect victim participation in the Cambodian Transitional Justice process has had on justice and reconciliation.

In the past years, increasing attention has been given to the victims of mass violence in Transitional Justice processes with the will to include them in these processes. The most far-reaching attempt of inclusion of victims in judicial Transitional Justice process began in the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), in which for the first time in international criminal justice civil parties were allowed. The underlying research question of the project reads: What effect does the inclusion of civil parties at the ECCC, moral and collective reparations, as well as broader civil societal dealing with the past have on the perception of justice and reconciliation in Cambodia? More specifically, the project asks what conceptions of justice and reconciliation civil parties, other victims and further relevant actors have, how all of these believe justice and reconciliation can be achieved and what role the inclusion of civil parties at the ECCC, reparations and other projects play in these conceptions of justice and reconciliation; furthermore, the project seeks to understand precisely how victims participated in the various processes inside and outside the court and how these various activities empower these actors and what forms of agency they can gain through them.

Through a structured comparison the project studies civil parties, both those who were more strongly involved and those less strongly involved, as well as other victims who were not part of the judicial process at all; furthermore, judicial participation of victims will be compared with participation in other types of civil society projects which deal with the past. The project will conduct a standardised survey with victims, as well as conduct in-depth interviews with a selection of these. These dimensions of the structured comparison will allow systematic conclusions to be drawn about the inclusion of victims at the ECCC and to derive policy-relevant recommendations for the future work of the actors in this process as well as for development cooperation in this area in other cases.

Report (EN)Policy Brief (EN) | Policy Brief (Khmer)

Laufzeit: 2017-2018

Förderung durch: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Projektleitung: Timothy Williams

Team: Timothy Williams, Julie Bernath