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23 Nov 2016

Chris Arsenault, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Cambodian villagers are optimistic for Intl. Criminal Court complaint following court's decision to investigate land grabs as violations of intl. law

"Landless Cambodian farmers look to International Criminal Court for justice", 22 Nov 2016

A group of farmers who survived the Khmer Rouge's notorious "Killing Fields" genocide in Cambodia are at the centre of a landmark legal case that could change the way global corporations manage large-scale land acquisitions, experts say...Human rights attorneys say the ICC could decide by the end of the year whether the case...should proceed...Legal experts say the case is internationally significant as it could change the way community displacement in the wake of large-scale land deals is tested and prosecuted under international law...Richard Rogers...said he was optimistic the ICC would give the green light to the case, launched in 2014, because of a change in the way serious international crimes can be prosecuted.  The ICC's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, signalled in September that the court will start investigating cases of large-scale environmental destruction and..."land grabs" as severe violations of international law.  Legal experts have interpreted this statement as a major shift in the court's approach with Cambodia the test case..."It puts governments and companies on notice that the ICC will be taking a closer look at some of these widespread land grabs,"...