This Note analyzes the breakdown in the negotiations between the United Nations and the Cambodian government over a criminal tribunal to try the surviving senior leaders of the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime. A careful study of the Cambodian legislature's tribunal law and the nature of the United Nation's objections to the law reveals that Cambodia is not the source of the stalemate. Contrary to prevailing Western views and the assertions of several prominent human rights organizations, the United Nations is the real stonewalling party, and its proposed amendments do not bolster the legitimacy of the tribunal or improve its ability to effectively and fairly prosecute Khmer Rouge leaders. Recent developments only confirm this view of United Nations as an obstructionist. The Secretary General's continuing opposition to the tribunal law's framework for domestic/foreign cooperation threatens to undermine a tentative agreement on U.N. participation in the tribunal.
Gerald V. May III,
An (Un)Likely Culprit: Examining the U.N.’s Counterproductive Role in the Negotiations Over a Khmer Rouge Tribunal,
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.