Australian national Megan Hirst has been selected as the new international civil party lead co-lawyer at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), commonly known as the Khmer Rouge tribunal.
She replaces French national Marie Guiraud who resigned in June, effective August 26, according to a press release issued on Friday.
Hirst has 15 years of experience working in international criminal and human rights law and holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Australia’s University of Queensland and a Master of Law degree from Cambridge University in the UK, it said.
For the past 10 years, Hirst has specialised in victims’ participation in international criminal proceedings.
She has represented victims before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the case of Prosecutor v Dominic Ongwen and pre-trial proceedings relating to the situation in Bangladesh and Myanmar and the situation in Afghanistan, the press release said.
Previously Hirst worked as a registry official in the ICC’s Victims Participation and Reparations Section, and the Victims’ Participation Unit of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
She is co-editor of the book Victim Participation in International Criminal Justice and currently serves as co-vice president for victims at the ICC Bar Association.
Hirst also practises law at the Bar of England and Wales, where she has represented victims before the public inquiry into sexual abuse. In addition to her work as counsel, Hirst regularly undertakes international projects relating to human rights and rule of law development.
She has extensive experience in East Timor, where she has worked since 2005 on the strengthening of the justice sector.
Hirst will work together with national civil party lead co-lawyer Pich Ang in the proceedings in Case 002/02 against former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan.
The civil parties ensure the effective organisation of the representation of civil parties who are victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ECCC, who may join the proceedings and pursue claims for moral and collective reparations.
“The civil party lead co-lawyers’ core responsibilities include representing the interests of the consolidated group of civil parties, overall advocacy, strategy and in-court presentation of the interests of the civil parties in close conjunction with individual civil party lawyers,” the press release said.