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Nkatha Kabira

Nkatha Kabira

S.J.D. 2015

Graduate Fellow, Teaching Assistant, LLM Writing Workshop

nkabira at



This dissertation examines the historical and conceptual limitations of Commissions of Inquiry. It explores their origins with a view to unmasking the assumptions, contradictions, tensions and presuppositions that operate as part of the background rules. The dissertation sets out to reveal that the history projects into the contemporary narrative by reproducing similar patterns in postcolonial legal orders and the international human rights regime. The dissertation investigates Commissions of Inquiry in Kenya in order to expose how neo-liberal systems of governance continue to operate through Judicial Commissions of Inquiry as a vehicle.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • American Legal Realism and Globalization of Western Social and Legal Thought with Professor Janet Halley, Harvard Law School, Overall Faculty Supervisor
  • International Law with Professor David Kennedy, Harvard Law School
  • Social Theory in a Postcolonial Context with Professor Duncan Kennedy, Harvard Law School
  • Law and Anthropology with Professor Sally Falk Moore, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University

Additional Research Interests

  • Globalization of Law
  • Gender and the Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Criminal Law


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. 2008 – 2015
  • Harvard Law School, LLM 2008
  • University of Nairobi, LLB 2005

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Law School, 2009-2010, Graduate Program Fellow, Teaching Assistant, LLM Writer’s Workshop
  • Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, 2009-2010, Teaching Fellow, African and African American Studies Department
  • Harvard Law School, 2008-2009 LLM Advisor

Representative Publications

  • Separating the baby from the water, women’s rights and the politics of constitution making in Kenya, (co-authored with Patricia Kameri Mbote) East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights Vol 14 Issue 1

Additional Information

  • Languages: English, Swahili, French (conversational)

Last Updated: May 12, 2010