Decision to withdraw from ICC in breach of Constitution - DA court papers

2016-10-24 19:03
James Selfe. (File)

James Selfe. (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


WATCH: SA dumps ICC, turns out it's complicated

2016-10-24 10:40

The International Relations Minister has signed notice for SA to leave the ICC.WATCH

Cape Town - Cabinet's decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court is in breach of the Constitution, the Democratic Alliance has argued in court papers.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha said on Friday that the government's reason for removing itself as a signatory of the Rome Statute was because it conflicted with its obligations to the African Union to grant immunity to its heads of states.

In the party's founding affidavit to the Constitutional Court, filed on Monday, it argued that the decision to withdraw should be declared unconstitutional and invalid.

"The notice of withdrawal is in breach of section 231 of the Constitution, as it was delivered without first securing a resolution of Parliament authorising withdrawal from the Rome Statute," the papers said.

Parliament also needed to take a decision to repeal the Implementation Act of 2002 before being able to vote on withdrawing from the ICC.

Lastly, the notice of withdrawal was also a breach of the state’s duty to "respect, protect, promote and fulfil" the rights contained in the Bill of Rights, and was also taken irrationally, he said.

Regressive decision

READ: ICC exit disregards rule of law - Freedom Under Law

DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe lamented South Africa's "regressive" decision, having played a leading role in the development of the ICC.

"It was also the first African country to pass domestic legislation implementing the Rome Statute. South Africa has turned its back on these ideals," he said in the court papers.

"It is now, together with war-torn Burundi, one of only two states party to the Rome Statute which has sought to withdraw from it."

He also said that once SA withdraws from the Rome Statute, the decision cannot be easily undone, and would take a number of years to achieve.

"This urgency is compounded by the fact that South Africa’s standing in the international community diminishes by the day while the notice of withdrawal remains in effect."

He said Cabinet's decision had been widely condemned by the international community, and had been seen as a betrayal of its leading role in the protection of human rights.

WATCH this video:

Read more on:    da  |  icc  |  judiciary  |  politics

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.