What crimes can be tried? Do the trials use Cambodian law or international law?

Posted Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:30 / Updated Mon, 07/24/2017 - 15:43

The ECCC can try certain crimes under Cambodian law and certain crimes under international law. The judges have to decide whether crimes were committed and by whom. The challenge for the Co-Prosecutors is to present enough evidence to prove individual guilt for particular crimes.

The crimes that can be tried before the ECCC are listed below.


Crimes under Cambodian law:

  • murder
  • torture
  • religious persecution


Crimes under international law:

  • genocide

Acts intended to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Genocide can be committed by killing members of a group or by other means, such as causing serious bodily or mental harm, inflicting conditions calculated to cause the physical destruction of the group, imposing measures intended to prevent births or forcibly transferring children to another group.


  • crimes against humanity

Serious crimes committed as part of a large-scale attack against any civilian population. The specific crimes include murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, torture, imprisonment, persecution on political, racial and religious grounds, rape and other inhumane acts.


  • grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva conventions

These are war crimes committed in the context of an armed conflict and include unlawful treatment of civilians or prisoners of war, attacks on civilian targets, destruction of educational and religious institutions


  • destruction of cultural property

Such as theft or damage of historical buildings, archaeological sites, museums, art, and important book collections


  • crimes against internationally protected persons (diplomats)