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Domestic Prosecutions of International Crimes in Africa

February 26, 2015

Following the disputed results of the general election in 2007, Kenya plunged into violence. It had been a very closely contested election between Mwai Kibaki, the incumbent president, and Raila Odinga the leader of opposition. Their supporters were both emotive and impassioned about the entire process. Initially it was thought that the violence following the announcement of the election results was a spontaneous public reaction to what was seen as a flawed electoral process. The widespread and systematic nature of the violence however, hinted at a more deliberate and articulate plan to attack the civilian population. The violence led to the death of over a thousand persons, the rape and sexual violation of over nine hundred women and the displacement of over six hundred thousand people.

All Bark No Bite? State Cooperation with the International Criminal Court

February 26, 2015

In late 2007, Kenya held a closely contested presidential election whose outcome was challenged by the opposition. The disputed election results were followed by widespread violence that left 1,133 people dead, 663,921 displaced, hundreds of women and men sexually violated and property worth millions of shillings destroyed.1 When Kenya failed to establish a domestic tribunal to prosecute those suspected of serious atrocity crimes, as recommended by a Commission of Inquiry established by the international mediation process led by Kofi Annan, the International Criminal Court (ICC) intervened, opening cases against six high profile Kenyans in March 2010.

A Real Option for Justice? The International Crimes Division of the High Court of Kenya

February 26, 2015

One and a half years since the International Crimes Division (ICD) in the High Court of Kenya was first proposed by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in its report of October 20121 , there has been little concrete movement towards actually setting up the Division. This is not in itself a criticism; such processes should take the time necessary to achieve the desired results. However, apart from publishing the report, making several 'bench-marking' visits to other countries and holding two low-key workshops, the JSC seems to have made little progress towards actualising an ICD. Despite this inertia, the Division continues to be touted in official circles as a potential answer to providing justice for victims of post-election violence as well as a potential replacement of the ICC ongoing process.