A Massachusetts judge has been appointed as the international reserve judge for the Supreme Court Chamber of a United Nations-backed war crimes tribunal in Cambodia.

As a reserve judge, Massachusetts Appeals Court Chief Justice Phillip Rapoza may be asked to attend appellate arguments and to assist if a sitting judge on the chamber is temporarily unable to perform his or her functions.

The tribunal is conducting trials related to serious crimes and human rights violations that occurred in Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s.

Rapoza's appointment as a reserve judge will not affect his tenure on the Appeals Court, where he will continue to serve as chief justice. (Associated Press.)

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