Capacity Building for the Establishment of the International and Organised Crimes Division (IOCD) of the Kenyan High Court

In May 2012, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) of the Kenyan Judiciary began to deliberate on the possibility of operationalising the 2008 International Crimes Act. As a consequence, a committee was set up to look into modalities of establishing an international crimes division in the High Court. Six months later, in October 2012, the Committee of the Judicial Service Commission on the establishment of an International Crimes Division in The High Court of Kenya published the first detailed report, which became the basis for all further discussion on the establishment of the new division.

Project Overview
Capacity Building for the Establishment of the International and Organised Crimes Division (IOCD) of the Kenyan High Court (2013-2015)

At a joint Wayamo & Institute for Peace and War Reporting conference in November 2012, Kenya‘s Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga announced the intention to establish the International Crimes Division (ICD) in the near future (the name was subsequently changed to the “International and Organised Crimes Division,” IOCD).

The IOCD was to have jurisdiction over international crimes as defined by the Rome Statute and the Kenyan International Crimes Act (for example, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide). The IOCD would also handle transnational crimes, such as organised crime, piracy, terrorism, wildlife crimes, cybercrime, human trafficking, money-laundering and counterfeiting.  Violence related to or arising out of elections such as looting and incitement to violence as well as ethnic and communal violence will also come under the new Court’s jurisdiction.

It was clear that capacity-building measures had to be organised for the relevant actors, and legal discussions and possible amendments had to be initiated before the actual establishment of the new division.

Between 2013–2015 the Wayamo Foundation provided specialised training and capacity building in investigating and prosecuting international crimes as defined by the Rome Statute and the Kenyan International Crimes Act (for example, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide), and transnational crimes, such as organised crime, piracy, terrorism, wildlife crimes, cybercrime, human trafficking, money-laundering and counterfeiting.

Objectives

Develop a roadmap for the establishment of the IOCD

Wayamo held meetings and strategic retreats with the “Strategic Committee on the establishment of the International Crimes Division in the High Court of Kenya”. In February 2014, Wayamo completed a draft road map for the Strategic Committee.

Build the capacity of investigators and prosecutors

Wayamo held twelve training workshops for Kenyan investigators and prosecutors (ten in Kenya, one in Nuremberg, Germany, and one in Pretoria, South Africa) on international criminal investigations and prosecutions, the establishment of the IOCD, the workings and potential application of the International Crimes Act in Kenya.

Enhance inter-agency collaboration

Networks of investigators and prosecutors were established and fostered, and Kenyan investigators and prosecutors reached a significant milestone when they formed a joint investigation team in the case of the Mpeketoni terrorist attack on the Indian Ocean coast in 2014. Indeed, Wayamo was consistently told by participants that without the meetings, training sessions, and workshops, this would never have taken place.

Engage with the wider public and the media

Through activities, such as public symposia, community town-hall meetings across the country and appearances on numerous radio programmes and show, Wayamo has been able to disseminate knowledge and understanding of the IOCD to a broad cross-section of Kenyan society.
Trainers & Experts
Wayamo training sessions are provided by a handpicked mix of international, local and regional experts drawn from international organisations, ranging from the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the United Nations, to hybrid and ad hoc tribunals, and national jurisdictions.
Target Groups

Investigators and Prosecutors

Wayamo trained approximately 150 Kenyan investigators and prosecutors, most of whom attended several, if not all, of the twelve training workshops.

Media

Wayamo trained journalists representing all media houses on the establishment of the IOCD, its jurisdiction and justification. Wayamo facilitated responsible media coverage, and supported the media in providing accurate, yet understandable, information to the public on complex legal and political matters pertaining to the IOCD.

Civil society, students and the wider public

Kenyan civil society groups were consulted and given a voice through the forums and town-hall meetings which Wayamo arranged in low-income neighbourhoods and communities in Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa. Wayamo also held a number of public outreach events with several universities in and around Nairobi and Mombasa, where students were given the opportunity to learn about and engage with the IOCD establishment process.
Recent Updates
All Project Updates:
  • 16-27 May 2013, Nairobi: Meetings with ICD-stakeholders from the Government, the Judiciary, the Office of the Director for Public Prosecutions, the Attorney General, UNODC, several universities in Nairobi, and a large group of representatives from Kenyan civil society
  • 17 May 2013, Nairobi: meeting with the “Strategic Committee on the establishment of the International Crimes Division in the High Court of Kenya”
  • 31 August – 16 September 2013, Nairobi: Continuation of ICD-stakeholders meeting
  • 14 September 2013, Nairobi: meeting with the “Strategic Committee on the establishment of the International Crimes Division in the High Court of Kenya”
  • 4-8 November 2013, Nuremberg, Germany: training for prosecutors and investigators: International Criminal Investigations
  • 11-18 November 2013, Nairobi: Preparatory meetings for stakeholders meeting in Naivasha in February 2014
  • 12 November 2013, Nairobi: First meeting with group of twelve Kenyan journalists who will be trained to report objectively and responsibly on ICD-issues
  • 5 December 2013, Nairobi: ICD Strategic Group Retreat
  • 6 December 2013, Nairobi: Training for a group of twelve journalists representing all media houses: The establishment of the International Crimes Division in the High Court of Kenya, its jurisdiction and its justification
  • 10 December 2013, Nairobi: Strathmore University debate: The establishment of an International Crimes Division in the High Court of Kenya
MultiMedia
Videos Related to this Project
Description

On 22 February 2015, Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kenya’s Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga spoke to Wayamo Foundation Director Bettina Ambach in Nairobi. Minister Steinmeier spoke on Germany’s commitment to strengthen Kenya’s capacity to prosecute international and transnational crimes, and Chief Justice Mutunga remarked on the impending establishment of the International and Organised Crimes Division in the High Court of Kenya.

Photo Gallery
Key Achievements - trained investigators and prosecutors
2013-2015
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Key Achievements - Workshops held
2013
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2014
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2015
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Key Achievements - Community forums and Public debates
2013
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2014
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2015
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What others have said
"Congratulations on pulling together a remarkable symposium in April 2015. My colleagues at the Judicial Service Commission were full of praise for you. Commissioner Florence Mwangangi said that you have carved yourself a niche in the IOCD. The Chief Justice was also very pleased with the outcome. Bravo!"
Rev. Samuel Kobia, Chair of the IOCD-Committee, May 2015
Funders

wayamo foundation

About

Wayamo is an independent, non-profit organisation established to strengthen the rule of law, promote justice for international and transnational crimes and foster transparency through judicial capacity building, mediation and informed journalism. Read more

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