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‘UhuRuto’ and Other Leviathans: The International Criminal Court and the Kenyan Political Order

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The International Criminal Court’s intervention in Kenya emerged from a complex and contested political history, with different actors advocating for domestic solutions and others arguing for an international legal process in The Hague. Earlier positions have been disavowed and others have changed in the dynamic Kenyan political environment. The icc intervention has produced a number of political effects, including the imbrication of the icc process with electoral politics. This article takes up the case study of the Kenyan situation as a site of political contestation mediated through legal discourse. It considers these dynamics on two registers: at the geopolitical level (considering the relationships between the icc, the African Union, and the United Nations Security Council) as well as at the domestic level (both state and civil society). By tracing the discourses through which these contestations transpire, this article highlights some of the themes, strategies, and practices through which the icc’s intervention has been received.

Affiliations: 1: Kent Law School, University of KentCanterbury, Kent CT2


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