Hybrid Justice

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
John D. Ciorciari and Anne Heindel
A definitive scholarly treatment of the ECCC from legal and political perspectives


Since 2006, the United Nations and Cambodian Government have participated in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, a hybrid tribunal created to try key Khmer Rouge officials for crimes of the Pol Pot era. In Hybrid Justice, John D. Ciorciari and Anne Heindel examine the contentious politics behind the tribunal’s creation, its flawed legal and institutional design, and the frequent politicized impasses that have undermined its ability to deliver credible and efficient justice and leave a positive legacy. They also draw lessons and principles for future hybrid and international courts and proceedings.

“John Ciorciari and Anne Heindel have written the definitive study of a highly controversial experiment in accountability for human rights atrocities. Their superb research and analysis, borne of first-hand experience, identifies the structural flaws, political conflicts, and personal rivalries that have plagued the Khmer Rouge tribunal since its inception. They weave their appraisal into a set of compelling recommendations for those contemplating future mixed domestic-international courts. With such tribunals still a serious option for states emerging from civil conflict, this study makes a profound contribution to the scholarship and policy debates within fields ranging from international criminal justice to comparative politics.”
—Steven R. Ratner, University of Michigan Law School and member of the UN Secretary-General’s Group of Experts for Cambodia

“. . . a robust, important, and compelling piece of scholarship. . . . This book makes very valuable contributions to the international criminal law literature and to transitional justice literature generally.”
—Mark Drumbl, Washington and Lee University School of Law

“Despite the arc of time, justice will win out when there is a political will to do so. Hybrid Justice echoes this sentiment on each page. John D. Ciorciari and Anne Heindel’s masterful job of taking the amazing events surrounding the creation of this court, its evolution, and its procedure and practice in seeking justice for the victims of ‘the killing fields’ makes this book a must read for students, scholars, and practitioners alike.” 
—David M. Crane, Syracuse University College of Law and former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Cover photograph: The ECCC courtroom, 2006. Courtesy of the Documentation Center of Cambodia Archives.

John D. Ciorciari is an assistant professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Anne Heindel is legal advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia.

Praise / Awards

  • "This book is an excellent piece of scholarship and makes a significant contribution to the literature on hybrid criminal tribunals, as well as advancing our understanding of this model."
    --Sarah Williams, University of New South Wales and Associate of the Australian Human Rights Centre

  • "This is the first systematic, in-depth study of the ECCC, and thus provides valuable insight as to the progress the institution had made at the time of writing, recognizing that the situation is still fluid given that the ECCC is yet to complete its most significant case."
    --International Journal of Transitional Justice

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Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 464pp.
  • 1 fig, 1 table, 32 B&W photos.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2014
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11930-1

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  • $65.00 U.S.

  • Open Access
  • 2014
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-90131-9

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  • Audio Download
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-00383-9

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  • — U.S.