Complementarity or Competition: The Effect of the ICC’s Admissibility Decision in Kenya on Complementarity and the Article 17(1) Inquiry

By: Jake Spilman


This article will discuss the origins of the International Criminal Court and the progression of the theory surrounding a permanent international tribunal—beginning with the United Nations’ creation of ad hoc tribunals following atrocities in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and proceeding through a discussion of the regime created in Rome. It will then outline the violence that engulfed Kenya following its 2007 presidential election and the procedural posture of the ICC’s case against those responsible. The analysis will then turn to the effect of the ICC’s rulings in the Kenya situation on the admissibility of cases to the Court, and the status of complementarity in creating the competitive environment surrounding the Court, as evidenced by the jockeying for jurisdiction that occurred during the Kenya adjudication.


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