Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I heart my colleagues! Too bad this video is only in German.

I realize that foreign lawyers, such as myself, engage in this work with a certain amount of privilege and detachment. No matter how entrenched one can be, the reality is that we can walk away at any time and go back to a legal system that subscribes more to the Western system of logic, to a system of legal precedent that actually dictates, more often than not, predictable results, to impartiality, objectivity. To comfort and order.

But my Khmer colleagues . . . these are their homes, their communities being bulldozed, burned down, dismantled, under force and the auspices of legitimate authority. The rule of law in Cambodia is broken, and to advocate on behalf of your legal rights comes at a risk that I will never comprehend because I'm a foreigner.

So when I see my colleagues speaking up, telling their story to the world (as they are doing in this video), it causes me to ponder the true definition of "courage." And then I snap out of it, pondering instead how they must be acclimating to the biting cold in Germany, to the steep prices of food, to all the Western-everything I sometimes crave!

Info on the sugar industry and land grabbing issue in Cambodia, which is the crux of that video: here.

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