Fulfillment Of The Responsibility To Protect Through The Use Of The Civilian Policing Oversight Institution In Kenya
Mutie, Bernadette M
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This study connects the international responsibility to protect to policing oversight institutions. It uses the example of Kenya’s policing oversight to demonstrate that although Kenya has sought to fulfil its international State obligation to protect its citizens from police acts prohibited under the UNCAT through the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), nevertheless, IPOA faces many institutional and legal challenges that hinder the execution of its mandate per international standards. The study makes three arguments. The first argument is that traditionally, the Police is a State organ, which was only accountable to the ruling regime. The second argument is that in Kenya, there exists non-adherence to the rule of law and a lack of full implementation of the existing laws relevant to policing oversight. The third argument is that the Kenyan laws such as the evidence Act, the Firearm Act, the Criminal Procedure Code, amongst others are not in tandem with IPOA Act thus limiting the scope of execution of IPOA’s mandate. Because of the challenges it faces locally, IPOA’s ability to help Kenya fulfil its international responsibility is compromised. The study relies on historical and sociological legal theories as it employs the doctrinal methodology to - One, illustrate the history of policing that led to the establishment of policing oversight institutions. Two, conduct an in-depth analysis of the institutional and legal framework on policing oversight. Three, outline lessons for Kenya from the best international policing oversight practices. By reviewing the legislative and institutional framework on policing oversight in Kenya, the study demonstrates that realizing effective execution of IPOA’s constitutional and statutory mandate in line with set international standards requires a multi-faceted approach. The approach includes respect to the rule of law, full implementation of the existing law on policing oversight, amendment of IPOA Act and other policing oversight related laws to bridge the legal gaps and resolve the existing inconsistencies in those laws. The existing literature fails to examine the framework on civilian policing oversight in Kenya on the State’s international responsibility to protect. This study, therefore, is a high reference point for both the Kenyan policymakers, other States and international institutions interested in establishing and strengthening policing oversight institutions.
University of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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