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Bar Association Lowers Fees for Tribunal's Foreign Lawyers


In a meeting that ended late Friday, the Cambodian Bar Association voted to drop all fees, save $500 for registration, for foreign lawyers wishing to participate in the Khmer Rouge tribunal, three bar association lawyers said.

Lower fees could pave the way for continued talks over internal rules governing the tribunal, but it was unclear Friday night whether the decision would bring anyone back to the table.

A meeting to discuss those rules was cancelled earlier this month by UN-appointed judges, who said excessive fees for foreign lawyers would taint the tribunal, which has so far failed to indict a single former Khmer Rouge leader.

International judges were not immediately available for comment following the meeting. They canceled an April 30 meeting earlier this month with their Cambodian counterparts, saying they would work around the bar association if it did not relent on its high fees by the end of April.

Cambodian Bar Association President Ky Tech declined to comment on Friday's decision, saying an official statement would be released Saturday.

Observers warn that the much-delayed tribunal could collapse under its own three-year time limit if proceedings do not start soon.

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