The Kenyan TJRC: An Outsider’s View From the Inside

In This Review

The Kenyan TJRC: An Outsider’s View From the Inside
By Ronald C. Slye
Cambridge University Press, 2018
308 pp.
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In the wake of the violence surrounding the 2007 Kenyan presidential election, the country created the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. It was tasked with examining the recent events but also given a daunting broader mandate: to examine all forms of egregious bad government in Kenya since 1963. That meant that it was always likely to come under enormous pressure from Kenya’s corrupt and entrenched political class. The commission delivered its report in 2013. Slye, a legal expert, was its sole non-African member. This fascinating book delves into the fissures that emerged among the commissioners, why the international members of the commission issued a dissent from some of the body’s findings, and the broader implications of the commission’s work for Kenya and other postconflict societies. Slye’s book makes for compelling reading, whether he is discussing the personal foibles of the commissioners, the backroom negotiations and compromises that mark such work, the legal issues involved, or the broader context of Kenyan politics.

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