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Using International Criminal Law to Resist Transitional Justice: Legal Rupture in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Journal article
Authors Mikael Baaz
Mona Lilja
Published in Conflict and Society
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 142-159
ISSN 2164-4543
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Law
School of Global Studies, Peace and Development Research
School of Global Studies
Pages 142-159
Language en
Subject categories Other Social Sciences

Abstract

An increasing body of literature focuses on negotiations of transitional justice, but not much has been written so far regarding contestations over its practices and the refusal of states and individuals to participate. Given the remaining legalistic dominance, this is particularly true regarding the field of international criminal law. Very little, if any, work in international criminal law engages with the topic of “resistance.” Departing from this gap in research, focusing on Cambodia and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the objective of this article is to introduce, discuss, and analyze the “strategy of rupture”—as developed by the late French lawyer Jacques Vergès—and the ways in which this legal defense has been applied in practice at the ECCC in order to resist not only the Tribunal per se, but also the entire Cambodian transitional justice process and, by extension, the post–Cold War global liberal project.

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