In 1993, Cambodian history turned a very significant corner with the promulgation of a new liberal constitution aimed at moving the country forward from its turbulent past. Many challenges remained, however; one of which was how to deal with the most horrific crimes of the “despicable Pol Pot” regime (1975–79)—as Cambodians called it—during which the radical pursuit of utopian revolutionary ideas cost roughly two million Cambodians their lives. Searching for mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes is seldom simple, as this essay, an assessment of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal twenty years on from the founding of the new Cambodian state and thirty-four years after the fall of the Pol Pot regime, attests. The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, whose formal name is the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), was established in 2006, providing the first hope that Khmer Rouge leaders would finally be brought to justice and held to account for their hideous crimes.

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