The Severance of Case 002 at the ECCC - A Radical Trial Management Technique or a Step Too Far?

 

Abstract

This article considers the severance of Case 002 before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). While severance is not unprecedented in international criminal trials, this is the first occasion where a tribunal has severed a trial concerning the same context and the same defendants into separate trials before the same chamber. The Trial Chamber considered severance to be in the interest of an expeditious trial and a measure that would increase the prospect of reaching a verdict on at least some charges in the indictment during the lifetime of both the accused and the ECCC. Yet, the severance led to complex legal challenges and considerable uncertainty regarding its impact on the trial and the right of the accused to a fair trial, while ultimately prolonging the trial. This article considers the context surrounding the decision to sever Case 002, the relevant legal framework and the impact of severance on the trial and the rights of the accused. Ultimately, it assesses whether severance was warranted in the circumstances.

© Sarah Williams (2015). Published by Oxford University Press.

 

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