South Africa Reverses its Withdrawal from ICC Statute


It is being reported that South Africa has ceased all internal and external processes in relation to its withdrawal from the ICC Statute.

Earlier this week, South African Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha revoked the ICC Repeal Bill. Furthermore, South Africa is said to have countermanded its official notification to the UN Secretary General of its intention to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the ICC.

“The revocation of the notice of withdrawal to the UN as well as this withdrawal of the Repeal Bill presents a fresh opportunity for the South African Parliament to reconsider whether or not it will leave the ICC and we hope that Parliament seriously considers the submissions made by concerned individuals and CSOs in its deliberations on this issue,” said Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Executive Director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre.

Allan Ngari Senior Researcher at the Institute for Security Studies expressed that “At this point, it is unlikely that a new withdrawal process will commence in the future given all the other pressing national issues in South Africa, including an ANC elective conference at the end of the year preceded by a policy conference in June, and general elections in 2019.”

The International Commission of Jurists, in collaboration with some of South Africa’s leading jurists, submitted a brief to The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services of the South African Parliament. It encouraged South Africa to remain a part of the Rome Statute and to engage, where appropriate with other African States, in the pursuit of suitable reforms within the Assembly of State Parties. The brief hoped that this would be performed with the intent to make the ICC increasingly proactive in advancing the objectives of international justice.

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Text source: (15th March 2017)

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