Meisenberg Stegmiller Frontcover

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia - Assessing their Contribution to International Criminal Law
Series: International Criminal Justice Series

April 2016 Editor: Simon M. Meisenberg, Attorney-at-Law, Aachen, Germany
Editor: Dr Ignaz Stegmiller, Franz von Liszt Institute for International and Comparative Law, JLU Gießen, Germany



  • Published: April 2016
  • Pages: xviii + 612 pp.
  • Publisher: T.M.C. ASSER PRESS
  • Distributor: Springer

This book is the first comprehensive study on the work and functioning of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

The ECCC were established in 2006 to bring to trial senior leaders and those most responsible for serious crimes committed under the notorious Khmer Rouge regime. Established by domestic law following an agreement in 2003 between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the UN, the ECCC’s hybrid features provide a unique approach of accountability for mass atrocities. The book entails an analysis of the work and jurisprudence of the ECCC, providing a detailed assessment of their legacies and contribution to international criminal law. The collection, containing 20 chapters from leading scholars and practitioners with inside knowledge of the ECCC, discuss the most pressing topics and its implications for international criminal law. These include the establishment of the ECCC, subject matter crimes, joint criminal enterprise and procedural aspects, including questions of trying frail accused and the admission of torture statements into evidence.

Simon M. Meisenberg is an Attorney-at-Law in Germany. Formerly he was a Legal Advisor to the ECCC and a Senior Legal Officer at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Ignaz Stegmiller is the Coordinator for the International Programs at the Franz von Liszt Institute, University of Giessen, Germany. Formerly he was a Legal Advisor to a human rights organization in Cambodia.

The editors’ systematic approach grants genuine access to the history of this extraordinary court and its achievements in developing further substantive and procedural international criminal law … Impressive contributors reflect the role and in part changing opinion of judges and counsel working in this different environment … This book is a must for all open-minded practitioners, scholars and young professionals in International Criminal Law.
Professor Wolfgang Schomburg
former Judge at the ICTY and ICTR

This volume of essays shows how the ECCC has struggled with the challenges and in varying measure has succeeded in creating a jurisprudence of global significance.
- Stephen J. Rapp
former international prosecutor and former US ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice

Specific to this book:

  • The first, and so far the only, comprehensive study on the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)
  • Contains a detailed analysis of the work and functioning of a United Nations assisted court system
  • Presents important developments regarding International Criminal Law, Human Rights, International Criminal Procedure and International Relations

With a foreword by Chang-ho Chung, Judge at the International Criminal Court, former United Nations International Judge at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Excerpts from reviews of the book:

The limitations of the ECCC – and there are many – are readily acknowledged by the authors of The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. However, rather than allowing the imperfect nature of the proceedings to obscure their value, the authors seek, and find, the lessons to be learned from the controversial tribunal. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia is a thought-provoking work which will generate discussion among practitioners and contribute to the diverse, nuanced landscape for international law scholars, and its underlying theme of gradual, hard-won progress is one that is certainly familiar to students of ICL. The result is a generally optimistic volume that accords the ECCC its proper status in the fight against impunity and recognizes the potential role of hybrid courts in the future of criminal justice.
- Katie Shea, International Review of the Red Cross

This book challenges this prevailing assumption and embodies an open minded, objective and evaluative analysis of the ECCC.
There is no denying that the ECCC is not without its challenges. However, this book takes an objective look at the Court’s successes and failures, thereby assessing its overall contribution to international criminal justice. Challenging the belief that there is nothing that the ECCC can teach us other than ‘how not to do things’, Meisenberg and Stegmiller have provided an invaluable insight into the contributions of an extraordinary court.

- Andrew Merrylees, Journal of International Criminal Justice

This is Volume 6 in the International Criminal Justice Series

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