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Journalists for Justice / 13 July 2017

Who We are

Journalists for Justice is a non-partisan project of the International Commission of Jurists, ICJ (Kenya Chapter) established in 2011 to promote the twin goals of i) combating all forms of impunity arising from the Post-Election Violence that afflicted Kenya in 2008 by promoting a balanced discussion of the international criminal justice system in the media and ii) advocating justice and reparations for victims of that violence.

 

The Project achieves these goals through public information programmes on the work of the international criminal court and other specialist tribunals; media training and outreach programmes; media monitoring and research, media advocacy, materials development and information dissemination activities and victim support programmes.

 

Our mission 

The mission of Journalists for Justice is to promote robust public discussion of ways to end the impunity associated with violations of humanitarian law in Kenya; to advocate justice for all victims of international crimes and to work with other people of goodwill who share the same values.

 

Our vision 

The vision of Journalists for Justice is to be the leader in mobilizing and leveraging local and international expertise to transform the way Kenyans see and understand international criminal justice by providing them with reliable and usable information about the performance of international criminal justice systems, among them the ICC and its role in achieving justice for victims of post-election violence, as well as the proposed International Crimes Division of the High Court of Kenya.

 

Our research and analysis will inform and transform our clients’ understanding and appreciation of the complementarities between national and international systems of justice.

 

Project justification 

Journalists for Justice has its roots in the AU-brokered 2008 agreement to end post-election violence. That agreement included the formation of the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence that investigated and then detailed widespread human rights abuses, systematic violence and murder and mass displacements. 

 

The Commission blamed the Government of Kenya for failing to provide leadership, for being partisan and failing to investigate cases of public employees who had committed offences, especially the state security agents -- the administrative police, the regular police, and members of the General Service Unit (GSU). 

 

Noting the systematic nature of the resulting impunity, the Commission recommended the establishment of a “Special Tribunal for Kenya” to try the primary suspects of the violence and to end impunity. A sealed addendum to the main report containing a list of the suspected main perpetrators of the post-election violence was handed over to Kofi Annan with the recommendation that if local efforts to set the Special Tribunal did not materialise, the list be handed over to the Chief Prosecutor of International Criminal Court. When legislative efforts to establish the Special Tribunal collapsed in 2009 Kofi Annan handed over the names to the International Criminal Court, ICC, Chief Prosecutor. 

 

The project arose from the work of the International Criminal Court in Kenya. Though opinion polls had consistently shown strong popular support for the ICC, there was poor public understanding of international criminal justice generally and of the work of the ICC in particular. 

 

This poor understanding bred misconceptions, politicisation and self-serving propaganda about what ICC was doing, how it got involved with Kenya, what the obligations of those indicted were, the role of victims in the courts work, the safety of witnesses and their families and, more generally, what the legal issues involved in the case really were.

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