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Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR)


Critical Transitional Justice is part of the Justice and Accountability theme whose focus is on critical evaluation of how justice and accountability is renegotiated and adapted in specific contexts in Africa with different histories and moral economies. 

The sub-theme focuses on understanding thefrictions and adaptions that emerge in the implementation of transitional justice mechanisms from a critical perspective that is African-centered and decolonial.

It includes several projects on transitional justice that members from the centre are involved in which include: The politics of the ICC (International Criminal Court) intervention in Kenya using a critical and everyday analysis by CGHR researcher Dr Njoki Wamai and critical perspectives of the proposed transitional justice processes in Somalia by Phd student Surer Mohammed. The theme is open to partnerships with other scholars interested in critical transitional justice research. 

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This critical transitional justice theme also specifically examines the challenges faced in implementing the transitional justice mechanisms in Kenya and Somalia. This project will focus on the failures of the ICC within the complex interplay of the politics of contested citizenship, resulting post-election violence in Kenya. The Kenya project is a continuation of Njoki's doctoral research which contributed to critical literature on the ICC after researching on the everyday politics of intervention. The project concluded that transitional justice mechanisms like the ICC in Kenya and indeed many post-violence spaces are understood as sites for political contestation as opposed to impartial, apolitical mechanisms that can end impunity as advanced by transitional justice advocates.  

At a time when the ICC is under criticism especially by African political elites for its selective bias, this research project is important in providing evidence on victims’ and citizens’ understanding and agency during the implementation of transitional justice programmes at the everyday level. The complexities and frictions presented in the Kenya project provides new evidence on the agency of local actors in undermining the ICC. At a time when the ICC is facing legitimacy challenges in Africa this research illustrates the effects of the ICC interventions beyond The Hague and introduces everyday vernacular discourses of transitional justice.  


Publications related to Critical Transitional Justice: 

  • Wamai, N.,(2018) The ICC, the ‘Coalition of the Accused’ and the International Community: Continuities and Discontinuities in Kenya’s International Relations, in Oxford Handbook on Kenyan Politics edited by  Cheesman, Kanyinga and Lynch due for publication in 2018. (due for publication)
  • Wamai, N., (2017) Peace-making lessons from the Kenyan Mediation Process, in The Palgrave Handbook of Peacebuilding in Africa edited by Karbo, Tony, Virk, Kudrat. Palgrave, London. (due for publication)
  • Wamai, N., (2014) Mediating the Post Election Violence in Kenya: From a Peacemaking Moment to a Constitutional Moment in Kenya: the Struggle for a New Constitutional Order eds. Murunga, Okello and Sjorgen (London, Zed Books)
  • Wamai, N., (2014), First contact with the field: experiences of an early career researcher in the context of national and international politics in Kenya in the Oxford Journal of Human Rights Practice, Jul 2014, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p213
  • Wamai N., (2013), UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Kenya: Dilemmas and Opportunities. Working Papers in British-Irish Studies. No. # 2013. (University College Dublin, Dublin)

  • Wamai, Njoki (2010), 'Security Council Resolution 1325 Implementation in Liberia: Dilemmas and Challenges in Olonisakin, Barens and Ikpe(eds.), Women's Participation in Women's Peace and Security. Translating Policy into Practice. (London: Routledge) 

Njok Wamai at the ICC

Njoki Wamai Fieldwork 2

Njoki Wamai on fieldwork in Kenya

Njoki Wamai Fieldwork