A High Court in South Africa has ruled that the government’s move to withdraw from the International Criminal Court is ‘unconstitutional and invalid.’
‘‘We have won in our application to have South Africa’s withdrawal from the ICC set aside as unconstitutional and procedurally flawed,” the main opposition Democratic Alliance said in a tweet on Wednesday morning.
The government has subsequently been instructed by the High Court to withdraw its notice served to the United Nations Secretary-General.
Breaking: SA withdrawal from International Criminal Court (ICC) unconstitutional, invalid. Gov instructed to revoke #ICC withdrawal notice pic.twitter.com/MwABDNzpgM
— SABC News (@SABCNews) February 22, 2017
South Africa became the second African country last year to apply to leave the Rome Statute, the treaty establishing the Hague-based court. They applied shortly after Burundi did, citing the fact that ICC membership was affecting diplomatic relations.
The ICC was opened in 2002, currently has 24 member states and is the first legal body with permanent international jurisdiction to prosecute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It has, however, been accused of targeting Africans.
Gambian President Adama Barrow recently rescinded a decision by his predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, to withdraw the country from the group. The Jammeh government described the ICC as an ‘International Caucasian Court.’
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