Top legal minds school the government on ICC

The country's top legal minds have weighed in on the ICC pullout saga.
The country's top legal minds have weighed in on the ICC pullout saga.
Some of the country’s most esteemed legal minds have advised government on the role it should play at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The group — which includes retired Constitutional Court Judges Zak Yacoob and Kate O’Reagan and Justice Navi Pillay‚ who is also a former judge of the ICC — made a submission to parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services.

According to a press release: “The submission recalls certain basic information about the framework in which the operates and aims to clarify some commonly misunderstood facts about the court. It also identifies certain current challenges facing the Court and contains recommendations for South Africa’s participation at the court.”

In October government announced that it would withdraw from the ICC. The decision followed a court ruling that found that the government was bound by ICC laws to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir‚ who has been indicted by the ICC‚ when he is on South African soil.

Al-Bashir attended an African Union conference in South Africa in 2015‚ but was not arrested.

Last month the Gauteng High Court declared the withdrawal from the ICC unconstitutional and invalid.

On Tuesday the United Nations announced that South Africa had formally revoked its withdrawal after the court’s finding.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha is set to appear in parliament on Wednesday to discuss the high court ruling.

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