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Kenya: International Human Rights Law Essay

1362 words - 6 pages

On the global scale, transnational actors have the capability to enforce international human rights laws. Such capability is currently in place in the global system through the intergovernmental organization known as the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC hears cases on genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity from around the world. This court is different from the World Court, as it has the ability to indict individuals from any state and is not solely between states. In the creation of the ICC, intentions were to end crimes against humanity through punishing perpetrators and subsequently hoping to deter potential violators. Trials in the ICC can be initiated three ways: A state can turn over an individual, a special prosecutor from ICC can begin a trial if the crimes occurred in a territory that has signed agreements with the ICC, and if an individual is committing crimes in a territory that is not a signatory of the ICC then the UN Security Council can commence proceedings against the individuals. (Goldstein & Pevenhouse, 2012)
To understand the procedures and effectiveness of the ICC, specific cases may be examined. Two major ICC cases arose out of Kenya’s 200 elections. As is the common among most democracies, great conflict arises between political parties of differing beliefs. This conflict is most evident during election times. Unfortunately, this conflict turned violent as a result of Kenya’s 2007 presidential elections. During these elections, the Electoral Commission of Kenya manipulated the results. Not surprisingly, when this occurrence became known, Kenyans of both major political parties were furious. Rather than directing their anger at the Electoral Commission of Kenya, however, both political parties targeted each other. Major violence erupted between the Orange Democratic Movement and the Party for National Unity (Odinga, 2013). This violence results in a sickening number of human rights abuses. These atrocities included over one thousand deaths, thousands of displaced people, countless cases of rape, and immense physical and emotional injury. In addition to these human rights violations, physical property and infrastructure was demolished, and the economy was severely hindered. Two separate suits were filed with the ICC as a result of this traumatic post-election violence (Gicheru, 2013). The first case, Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey, and Joshua Ara Sang, consisted of six counts of crimes against humanity of murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population, and persecution (Gicheru, 2013). The second case, Prosecution v. Francis Kirmi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, and Mohammed Hussein Ali, consisted of ten counts of crimes against humanity of murder, deportation or forcible transfer or population, rape and other forms of sexual violence, other inhumane acts, and persecution. These cases were complicated with an immense volume of evidence, and the ICC...

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