Documentation Center Cambodia (DC-CAM) (Cambodia)

For the last three months, I have been working at the Documentation Center Cambodia (DC-CAM), with the legal training team.  The legal training is geared to provide a succinct yet comprehensive training on the role and functions of defense counsel before the upcoming Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT).  It is a two-week training composed of three sessions, each targeting different audiences.  The first audience group is NGO leaders, the second is journalists and individuals, and lastly, Cambodian government personnel.

Under the supervision of Helyen Unac, 2005 legal training supervisor, I and four other interns from overseas prepared and arranged the legal training, which was held on July 11, 2005 for two weeks.  My main responsibilities include legal research, drafting chapters of the training manual, contacting and assisting a guest lecturer and giving the first day presentation of the training.
Very few training sessions were done when I started working at the DC-CAM.  It was also my duty to find all the relevant laws of the KRT, create a table of KRT laws and draft introduction of KRT laws.  The training manual is designed to be used by all three different participant groups, and I have drafted Chapter 1 and Chapter 4 of the manual.  On the first day of the training, I introduced the training to  NGO leaders by giving a power point presentation.  During the training, I assisted Judge Gertner, US District Court Judge, while she explained her experience as a criminal defense counsel, which included discussing counsel's role and duties.

Aside from these main duties, legal interns were deeply involved in other activities of the DC-CAM.  During weekends, we accompanied an outreach team to Kampongchenang province and observed how DC-CAM staff collect testimonials of both victims and perpetrators of the Khmer Rouge.  Also, we made a number of visits to a Cambodian provincial courthouse and attended actual criminal proceedings.  It was strikingly different from the courtroom and proceeding that I am familiar with.

My experience at DC-CAM has been extraordinary and I am greatly impressed at the hospitality of the staff as well as legal training participants.  Through these various interactions with staff members, legal training participants and ordinary Cambodians, I understood a pressing need and people's aspiration for rule of law in Cambodia, and the significant role of the international legal community in achieving this goal. 

Once again, I thank the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, Human Rights Internship Program for providing me with this invaluable experience. Summer in Cambodia was indeed incomparable to any other places that I have been, but so was the experience.