Prosecuting International and Other Serious Crimes in Kenya

The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)

This briefing paper focuses on the topic of prosecuting international and other serious crimes in Kenya, including crimes committed in the context of the postelection crisis of late 2007 and early 2008. In particular, it identifies and analyzes obstacles and opportunities for such prosecutions within current legal and institutional frameworks.

While Kenya’s obligations under the Rome Statute require it to support the ongoing International Criminal Court (ICC) process, this brief concludes that it is equally important to create an institutional framework to ensure that national prosecutions for serious crimes take place. To this effect, the chief justice should establish a special division of the High Court, and the Kenyan Parliament should adopt legislation that establishes an independent special prosecutor to deal with the 2007–2008 postelection violence (PEV) cases and possibly other international crimes cases. Furthermore, the brief recommends that a special witness protection unit or agency be established for PEV-related offenses.

The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) 2013

The ICTJ assists countries pursuing accountability for past mass atrocity or human rights abuse. ICTJ works in societies emerging from repressive rule or armed confl ict, as well as in established democracies where historical injustices or systemic abuse remain unresolved.

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