Parly committee to continue ICC withdrawal talks

2017-03-09 17:01
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Cape Town – Parliament’s international relations committee intends continuing discussions to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

It would hold talks with its justice partners to “take the process of South Africa’s withdrawal from the ICC forward,” committee chairperson Siphosezwe Masango said on Thursday.

On February 22, the High Court in Pretoria ruled that the government’s notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the ICC without parliamentary approval was unconstitutional and invalid. It ordered government to revoke the notice of withdrawal.

“It is worth noting that the court did not find the decision on withdrawal from the ICC to be unconstitutional, but rather the implementation of it ‘without prior parliamentary approval’,” Masango said.

He said the Department of Justice and Correctional Services was invited to brief the committee on the ruling and the order, and indicated that Cabinet was implementing the order.

The ministers of both international relations and justice would be invited to another committee meeting for further discussions.

Both the international relations and justice committees would consider an appropriate course of action, he said.

On October 21, 2016 Justice Minister Michael Masutha told reporters that South Africa had initiated the process of withdrawing from the ICC by notifying the United Nations of its intention to revoke its ratification of the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty. It would take a year for the decision to come into effect.

The decision followed several court judgments that the government violated the law by not arresting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to South Africa for an African Union summit in June 2015.

The ICC had issued warrants for his arrest and wanted him to stand trial on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Read more on:    icc  |  politics

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