Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

The Law Passes

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

The Law Passes

Article excerpt

In the face of this, everything that had supposedly stood in the way of the passage of the draft law magically melted away. After months of pretending that the National Assembly might have a mind of its own, both Hun Sen and Ranariddh promised to deliver a passed law without problems by early January 2001, and so they did. With Sok An made available to brief the Legislative Commission, it was able in early December to pass on to the Assembly floor a draft that incorporated many but not all the amendments suggested by the United Nations in July. It was then adopted without change and unanimously after "debates" on 29 December and 2 January, during which neither CPP nor FUNCINPEC parliamentarians raised any serious points. The SRP's position was that although it was not entirely happy with the law, it did not want further delay, and so voted in favour.36 This left confirmation of the bill by the Senate and its signature by King Sihanouk as next steps.

The United Nations' reaction was cautious. It was no doubt disappointed that the law failed to specify that Ieng Sary's pardon was no bar to his prosecution, and that it watered down possibilities that the court might incorporate international standards into its procedures and drop other safeguards for fairness. Feeding this disappointment was the realization that it had been manoeuvred into a deal it did not want by the Clinton Administration, only to be confronted with a much less U. …

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