South Africa Court Rules Against ICC Pullout Plan

South Africa Court Rules Against  ICC Pullout PlanSouth Africa Court Rules Against  ICC Pullout Plan

A South African court on Wednesday ruled that the government’s plan to withdraw from the International Criminal Court was “unconstitutional and invalid”, providing a boost to the embattled Hague-based institution.

The ICC has been rocked by threats of withdrawal in recent months, with complaints focusing on its alleged bias against Africa, France 24 reported.

South Africa announced in October it had lodged its decision to pull out with the United Nations, following a dispute over Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visiting the country in 2015.

South African authorities refused to arrest Bashir despite him facing an ICC arrest warrant over alleged war crimes, saying he had immunity as a head of state. “The Cabinet decision to deliver the notice of withdrawal ... without prior parliamentary approval is unconstitutional and invalid,” said Judge Phineas Mojapelo in the North Gauteng High Court.

The court ruling was a setback for President Jacob Zuma’s government, which could appeal. President Bashir has evaded arrest since his ICC indictment in 2009 for alleged war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur conflict in which 300,000 people were killed and two million forced to flee their homes.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal accused the government of “disgraceful conduct” over Bashir’s visit and ruled that the failure to arrest the Sudanese leader was unlawful.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints