Statement from the Review Committee of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
On 16 March 2007, the Review Committee concluded a ten-day session in Phnom Penh on the draft Internal Rules.
During the session, the Review Committee discussed in exhaustive detail many points and resolved all remaining disagreement, although some fine tuning remains to be done.
However, one issue not mentioned in the draft Internal Rules, but still outstanding, is the impact of registration fees on the participation of foreign lawyers in the ECCC.
The latest decision of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) imposes a fee that is unacceptable to the international judges, who consider that it severely limits the rights of accused and victims to select counsel of their choice. The international judges believe that the failure to fix an appropriate fee places an obstacle to adopting the Rules while the national judges consider that the registration fee, being an issue outside the scope of the draft Internal Rules and should not be an obstacle to their adoption. The judges are ready to hold a plenary at the end of April. For international judges, this will be possible only if a satisfactory resolution of this issue is reached.
In order to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties, so that the Plenary can proceed on 30 April 2007, the BAKC is invited to reconsider its position as soon as possible and the ECCC Defence Support Section is requested to work closely with the Bar on this process.
All members of the Committee remain dedicated to completing this complex effort of successfully harmonising international and national law so that the ECCC can discharge its historic responsibility to find justice for the Cambodian people.