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Joint Criminal Enterprise: Cambodia's Reply to Tadić

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The doctrine of Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE), which imposes individual criminal responsibility on an accused for their participation in a group's common criminal plan, rose to prominence in the ICTY Appeal Chamber decision, Prosecutor v. Tadić. Since Tadić, there has been a general reluctance by international ad hoc tribunals to review the legal foundation of JCE. However, on 20 May 2010, the ECCC Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) considered the applicability of JCE to the atrocities which occurred in Cambodia during 1975-1979 - the period within the tribunal's temporal jurisdiction. The PTC has, unlike any other ad hoc tribunal to date, subjected the reasoning in Tadić to close scrutiny. This article will analyse the PTC's decision. In squarely contradicting Tadić on the expanded form of JCE, its findings are to be welcomed. The PTC's decision should be upheld on appeal in order to uphold the principle of legality; to safeguard the continued respect, credibility and future legacy of the ECCC trial process.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


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