Opposing International Justice: Kenya's Integrated Backlash Strategy Against the ICC

International Criminal Law Review, vol. 17 (1): 1-46 (2017)

iCourts Working Paper Series No. 83

Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2017-13

52 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2016 Last revised: 18 Feb 2017

See all articles by Laurence Helfer

Laurence Helfer

Duke University School of Law; University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts

Anne Showalter

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Date Written: February 17, 2017

Abstract

The government of Kenya has employed a wide range of strategies to undermine the recently-dismissed prosecutions of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto before the International Criminal Court (ICC). This Article argues that these strategies are part of an integrated backlash campaign against the ICC, one that encompasses seemingly unrelated actions in multiple global, regional and national venues. We identify three overarching themes that connect these diverse measures — politicizing complementarity, regionalizing political opposition, and pairing instances of cooperation and condemnation to diffuse accusations of impunity. By linking its discrete acts of opposition to these three themes, the government ultimately increased the effectiveness of its campaign against the Court. Our findings provide new evidence to analyze others instances of backlash against international courts and institutions.

Keywords: International Criminal Court, ICC, criminal justice, atrocities, Africa, backlash, post-colonialism, Kenya, African Union

JEL Classification: K33, F53, F54, F55, N47, K14

Suggested Citation

Helfer, Laurence and Showalter, Anne, Opposing International Justice: Kenya's Integrated Backlash Strategy Against the ICC (February 17, 2017). iCourts Working Paper Series No. 83; Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2017-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2885435 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2885435

Laurence Helfer (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Dr.
Box 90360
Durham, NC 27708
United States
+1-919-613-8573 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.duke.edu/fac/helfer/

University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts ( email )

University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law
Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen S, DK-2300
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://jura.ku.dk/icourts/

Anne Showalter

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ( email )

No Address Available

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