New Book: Extraordinary Justice

Craig Etcheson's picture

I am very pleased to announce the publication of my latest book, Extraordinary Justice: Law, Politics, and the Khmer Rouge Tribunals. I have been working on it for almost 20 years, so it feels extremely good to finally see it in print. Extraordinary Justice tells an epic story, spanning more than 100 years, and among other things, it traces the diffusion of socialist legality throughout the world. The main topic, however, is how Cambodia's Extraordinary Chambers came into being, how the legal process unfolded, and what its future is likely to hold, all told largely from an insider's perspective, since I was either on the sidelines or at center stage at many key junctures. If you want to know what really went down at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, and how we secured genocide convictions, this is the book for you. If you order directly from Columbia University Press using the code CUP30, you can get a 30% discount.


Here is the publisher's blurb on the book:


In just a few short years, the Khmer Rouge presided over one of the twentieth century's cruelest reigns of terror. Since its 1979 overthrow, there have been several attempts to hold the perpetrators accountable, from a People's Revolutionary Tribunal shortly afterward through the early 2000s Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, also known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Extraordinary Justice offers a definitive account of the quest for justice in Cambodia that uses this history to develop a theoretical framework for understanding the interaction between law and politics in war crimes tribunals.


Craig Etcheson, one of the world's foremost experts on the Cambodian genocide and its aftermath, draws on decades of experience to trace the evolution of transitional justice in the country from the late 1970s to the present. He considers how war crimes tribunals come into existence, how they operate and unfold, and what happens in their wake. Etcheson argues that the concepts of legality that hold sway in such tribunals should be understood in terms of their orientation toward politics, both in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and generally. A magisterial chronicle of the inner workings of postconflict justice, Extraordinary Justice challenges understandings of the relationship between politics and the law, with important implications for the future of attempts to seek accountability for crimes against humanity.



Craig Etcheson

Visiting Scientist

T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Harvard University