In 2012, the International Criminal Court confirmed trials against four suspects for bearing the greatest responsibility for crimes against humanity perpetrated during Kenya’s post-2007 election violence. In 2016, however, the Office of the Prosecutor withdrew all charges, decrying intolerable interference and political meddling in Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang’s cases. In President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case, the Court ultimately referred the government to the Assembly of State Parties for failing to cooperate with her investigations. The decision to prosecute has sparked outcry from some African countries, not only because the evidence is thin, or even since the suspects are senior leaders enjoying political power, but alleging selective justice. Suspects from strong Western countries tend to be overlooked. This book evaluates the ICC’s controversial decisions conferring its jurisdiction over the situation in Kenya, confirming the charges and even compelling unwilling witnesses to appear and testify. It is true that in 1999 Kenya ratified the Rome Statute through which the international community seeks to promote retributive justice to hold leaders accountable and punish mass atrocities. However, in the context of transitional justice, domestic authorities preferred to respond to the alleged mass atrocities through structural reforms. Indeed, two ICC indictees, Kenyatta and Ruto won the 2013 presidential elections, indicating that the local public lacks confidence in the Hague process. From a practitioner’s perspective, this book demonstrates the sociopolitical, cultural and contextual background which caused the ICC’s legitimacy crisis. It is a must read for international criminal lawyers, policymakers, scholars, and other stakeholders.
Dr. Charles Alenga Khamala, Ph.D. (UPPA), LL.M. (London) and LL.B. (Nairobi) was Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Rhodes University, 2016 and KU Leuven Visiting Scholar, 2018. Having commenced at Kabarak University, he is currently a Senior Lecturer at Africa Nazarene University Law School, while practising as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, is on the List of Counsel of the ICC, UNMICT, ACHPR, ICCBA, ADC-ICT, ILA, ICJ (K), WSV, LSK, EALS; alumni of AFRAKEN and Chevening (K).