Bar Association Fee May Block Khmer Rouge Trials

by Julian Ku

As I noted last week, the hybrid international-domestic court set up to try Khmer Rouge leaders has been teetering on the edge of disbanding due to disputes between the international and local Cambodian lawyers on a variety of matters. According to this Financial Times report, almost all the problems have been ironed out, except one: the fee charged by the local bar association to foreign (international) lawyers representing defendants in the hybrid court.

The local bar association has reportedly demanded that international lawyers pay $500 merely to be eligible as potential counsel in the tribunal, another $2,000 if they get a client, and $200 per month throughout the proceedings. The fees would also be applied to foreign lawyers working pro bono to represent victims.

This does sound a bit unreasonable, although there has got to be a solution here somewhere. Is there a donor out there willing to shell out a couple hundred thousand to make sure justice is served to the Khmer Rouge?

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