Khmer Rouge Tribunal Faces New Threat, and more

Prime Minister Hun Sen made it very clear in his speeches: “No more cases beyond 002 or there shall be civil war in Cambodia”.

It is not just his thoughts, it is his order to the KR Tribunal.

The world community has to live with its moral conscience and not just practice its usual “back door diplomacy”.

Open Society Foundations

Justice Update

A Regular Round-Up Highlighting Our Advocacy and Litigation

Khmer Rouge Tribunal Faces New Threat

The United Nations Secretary-Generals office has expressed concern over the Cambodian governments failure to confirm the appointment of the international co-investigating judge at the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Cambodia, to replace Judge Siegfried Blunk, who resigned in October. The spokesman for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted that the Cambodian government was obliged under its agreement with the UN to confirm the Swiss reserve co-investigating judge, Laurent Kasper-Ansermet. The Open Society Justice Initiative earlier issued a statement saying that the new judges status must b e made clear and unequivocal, in order to allow the court to move forward with the two outstanding investigations into five former senior Khmer Rouge officials (Cases 003/4)both cases are being resisted by the Cambodian government. Clair Duffy, our court monitor in Phnom Penh, was again cited by international news wires and the local press over the latest impasse.

Open Society Foundations Plans Burma Office

The Open Society Foundations has said it will establish a presence in Burma to help the country in its transition from a closed to a more open society, following a trip to Rangoon by George Soros, its founder and chairman. During the visit Soros met a range of people involved in the reform process, and held talks with Aung San Suu Kyii and President U Thein Sein. The Burma Project of the Open Society Foundations has worked since 1994 to increase international awareness of conditions in Burma and to assist marginalized communities.

UK Murder Convictions Highlight Police “Stop and Search” Issue

UK policing tactics faced renewed scrutiny this month after the conviction on January 3rd of two men for the 1993 racist murder of Stephen Lawrence, a 19-year old black teenager. A 1999 public inquiry concluded that the original police investigation had been tarnished by institutional racism, that was also evident in the nation-wide racial disparities in stop and search. The inquiry led to a wave of reforms and changes to UK policing The convictions provoked debate over current police attitudes on race, including the disproportionate targeting of ethnic minority youths by police stop and search tactics. An editorial in the UKs Observer newspaper calling for greater accountability in police stop and search tactics cited Open Society Justice Initiative research. A related report on the issue also quoted Rebekah Delsol, our London-based expert on ethnic profiling, on the often negative experiences of those targeted for stops.

Litigation Summer School in Budapest

Applications are now open for a week-long summer course on human rights litigation, which will be held by the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Central European University in Budapest from July 16-20, 2012. The course will explore the steps involved in strategic litigation, and will develop the skills and knowledge needed to successfully bring cases to the regional human rights systems and the UN treaty bodies. Young human rights professionals with at least three years experience are invited to submit applications by February 15, 2012.

In the News

Chidi Odinkalu, head of the Open Society Justice Initiative in Africa is now also serving as chairman of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, giving him a central role in efforts to resolve the countrys current twin crises. He has been extensively quoted by local and international media on the governments response to attacks by the Boko Haram extremist group and related violence, as well as on the handling of the ongoing mass protests against removal of fuel subsidies.

From the Open Society Blog

  • Vaclav Havels Triumph
    Aryeh Neier, president of the Open Society Foundations, marked the death on December 11th at the age of 75 of the playwright and dissident who became the first elected president of the Czech Republic.
  • Ending Slavery in Mauritania Needs Deeper Engagement
    Julia Harrington Reddy of the Open Society Justice Initiative looks at some of the challenges facing the effort to end a deeply-rooted social practice.
  • Citizenship and State Succession in the Sudans
    South Sudans independence has created citizenship issues that need to be resolved, says Bronwen Mandby of the Open Society Foundations AfriMAP project.


Jonathan Birchall

Will Cohen

Follow us on Twitter: @JamesAGoldston, @OSFJustice, @cohenwill, @birchall_jon, @icctrialmonitor, @statelessness, @pretrialjustice

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