The Cambodian judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia said in a statement Friday that they “regret” the international judges’ decision to issue an ultimatum to the Cambodian Bar Association regarding fees for foreign lawyers.
The statement, which was issued by the ECCC at the request of the Cambodian judges, also states that the decision by the international judges to not participate in a planned plenary session on April 30 will “further delay the process of the court.”
On Tuesday, the international judges said that if the fees are not lowered by the end of the month the bar association could find itself excluded from the process of organizing the participation of foreign lawyers at the court.
In their statement, the Cambodian judges said that the proposal to exclude the bar was “not consistent with the substance and spirit of the Agreement between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations.”
“The national judges also regret the international judges’ decision to set an ultimatum to the BAKC [Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia], despite the national judges’ repeated advice that such action would not contribute to a positive resolution of the issue,” the statement continues.
The Cambodian judges added that the fee issue falls outside the scope of the internal rules and therefore should not be considered a reason to not attend the plenary session.
ECCC spokesman Peter Foster could not be reached for comment Friday.