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Perpetrator Studies Network


The Justice Facade: Trials of Transition in Cambodia

By Alexander Hinton.

Is there a point to international justice? Many contend that tribunals deliver not only justice but truth, reconciliation, peace, democratization, and the rule of law. These are the transitional justice ideals frequently invoked in relation to the international hybrid tribunal in Cambodia that is trying senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime for genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the mid-to-late 1970s.

In this ground-breaking book, Alexander Hinton argues these claims are a facade masking what is most critical: the ways in which transitional justice is translated, experienced, and understood in everyday life. Rather than reading the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in the language of global justice and human rights, survivors understand the proceedings in their own terms, including Buddhist beliefs and on-going relationships with the spirits of the dead.

This book:

  • Delivers a uniquely critical standpoint of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
  • Examines the impact of transitional justice in the country
  • Engages with legal theory and illustrates phenomenology’s relevance to the Law
  • Draws upon empirical research to give the victims’ perspective

Alexander Hinton is Founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Professor of Anthropology, and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Prevention at Rutgers University. He was listed as one of “Fifty Key Thinkers on the Holocaust and Genocide” and is a past President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

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