Lyma Nguyen is an Australian Barrister and member of the Northern Territory Bar Association, having joined William Forster Chambers in June 2014 (www.williamforster.com). In May 2009, she was admitted to the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia as International Civil Party Counsel with standing to represent victims at the ECCC. In Australia, Lyma has worked at the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for six years prior to joining the private bar. She has also worked at the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, both in Criminal Justice Division and Human Rights Branch, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Office of the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions. Lyma speaks English, Vietnamese and French, and has worked in capacity building roles in Nigeria and East Timor. In 2012, Lyma was enlisted on the register of the Australian Civilian Corps as a Law and Justice civilian expert and in 2013, was offered the Prime Minister’s Executive Endeavour Award for her work in Cambodia. In 2014, she became a Churchill Fellow, with a project aimed at building expertise in international criminal justice.
Lyma has seen victim representation through from the initial filing of victim forms, to conducting civil party admissibility appeals, to engaging in pre-trial legal argument, examination of witnesses during evidence hearings and conducting the rebuttal argument at the Closing Submissions in Case 002/01. Since 2008, Lyma, together with national Co-Counsel from Legal Aid of Cambodia (Mr NY Chandy, Mr SAM Sokong and Mr LOR Chunthy), has provided pro bono legal services to ethnic minority victims, foreign nationals and members of the Cambodian diaspora. In mid-2010 to early 2011, Lyma linked in with the Lawyers Beyond Borders networks of Australian Volunteers International (AVI) and undertook an assignment as International Criminal Law Advisor to Legal Aid of Cambodia. Legal Aid has also had support from AVI through an AVI placement for an Assistant Lawyer to Civil Party Lawyers, as well as interns from AVI’s “Pace International” program with Macquarie University.
Lyma, together with colleagues from Legal Aid of Cambodia, represents clients in Cases 002, 003 and 004, including ethnic Vietnamese minority victims of genocide, Khmer persons who lost Vietnamese spouses under the Khmer Rouge’s “mixed marriage” policy, those who were mistreated on an accusation of being associated with Vietnamese persons, Cambodian diaspora victims currently residing in Australia and the United States, and foreign nationals. As Case 002/02 proposes to deal with the genocide of the ethnic Vietnamese, see “Projects” link for more information about the legal representation of ethnic Vietnamese minority victims, a genocide group before the ECCC.
Over the years, in her victim representation work, Lyma has collaborated with national and international lawyers from Legal Aid of Cambodia, Access to Justice Asia LLP (Singapore) and the Centre for Justice and Accountability where she has filed civil party admissibility appeals for former-clients from the victim association, the Applied Social Research Institute of Cambodia. Local NGOs such as JRS Cambodia and Kdei Karuna (KdK) have also been involved with assisting the ethnic Vietnamese client communities that are represented before the ECCC, in the areas of human rights (JRS) and peace building (KdK).
Links to Articles about Lyma’s Work with National Colleagues:
- The Australian Womankind Magazine, “Lyma Nguyen“, July 2014 launch edition, by Oliver Pelling.
- Australian Volunteers International, August 2014, “Fighting For Human Rights“.
- Darwin Life Magazine, October 2013, “Inspirational Women” series, “Women in Law” edition, featuring Lyma Nguyen.
- UNHCR, “Cambodia: Khmer Rouge Genocide Charge Marks Milestone for Minorities“, 24 May 2010.
- Brisbane Legal Magazine, “Fighting for Justice in Cambodia“, 21 October 2010, by Matthew Ogg.
- Lawyers Beyond Borders, 2010, “Legal Partnerships: Enhancing governance where it is needed most“.
- ANU Reporter / The Canberra Times, “Echoes in the Killing Fields“, Spring ed, 2010, by James Giggacher:
- Access to Justice for Minority Victims KRT Project, at Legal Aid of Cambodia