Defence Support Section

The role of the DSS is to ensure fair trials through effective representation of the accused. The Section is responsible for providing indigent accused with a list of lawyers who can defend them, and for providing legal and administrative support to lawyers assigned to work on cases, including the payment of fees. The DSS also acts as a voice for the defence at outreach events and in the media, liaises with other tribunals and NGOs, runs training courses and organises an internship program for young lawyers. The DSS staff includes experienced international criminal lawyers, administrative support staff, language assistants and interns.

Research and Analysis

The DSS undertakes detailed legal research and analysis for Co-Lawyers who are assigned to cases in order to assist in the preparation of legal arguments before the Court.

For the Defence

Each accused at the ECCC is defended by a team of lawyers. To match the Co-Prosecutors each accused may have two Co-Lawyers, one Cambodian and one foreign. The Co-Lawyers are supported by Legal Consultants and Case Managers from Cambodia and abroad.

Practical Assistance

Defence Teams are provided with full office facilities at the DSS. The ECCC Legal Assistance Scheme is designed to provide for equality with the prosecution in a fair and efficient fee payment scheme.

Lawyers for the Future

An internship with the DSS is an ideal opportunity for young lawyers to put into practice the knowledge they have gained through advanced study of international criminal law, often in a very practical way.

Building capacity

The DSS works with the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia to offer a range of training courses for lawyers who wish to appear before the ECCC.

A voice for the Defence

The DSS ensures that the role of the defence is explained in outreach events throughout Cambodia, by training NGO’s and journalists in defence issues and by speaking to the media.

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