The Challenge of the Khmer Rouge Trials

Date of Event



January 31, 2009 Speaker: Robert Petit, International Prosecutor, Khmer Rouge Tribunal / Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Presented by: Frederick K. Cox International Law Center Summary: Lecture in Global Legal Reform In just a few weeks, the long-awaited "Killing Fields Trials" will commence before the United Nations-established Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. In light of the scale of the atrocities, the passage of 30 years since they were committed, the hybrid nature of the Tribunal, and the fact that the defense is led by the infamous Jacques Vergès, known for his strategy of trial by disruption -- these will be among the most challenging war crimes cases ever to be tried. Robert Petit will give a preview of the Khmer Rouge trials and discuss the unique challenges they present. Robert Petit has significant experience in international criminal law. He served as a Legal Officer in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda from 1996 to 1999; Regional Legal Advisor United Nations Mission in Kosovo in Mitrovica, Kosovo from 1999 to 2000; Prosecutor, Serious Crimes Unit, United Nations Mission of Assistance to East Timor in 2002; Senior Trial Attorney, Office of the Prosecutor. Special Court for Sierra Leone in Freetown, Sierra Leone from 2003 to 2004. Prior to that, Mr. Petit worked as a criminal prosecutor in Montreal for eight years

Lecture Series

Frederick K. Cox International Law Center

Subject Headings

ECCC, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia; Killing Fields Trials; Jacques Verges, war crimes trials; international criminal tribunals; atrocities; atrocity law


Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Document Type