South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court is unconstitutional, a court has ruled.
South Africa announced in October that it was leaving the ICC on the grounds that its membership hampered its efforts to help resolve conflicts in Africa.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance took the government to court, arguing that Justice Minister Michael Masutha acted unlawfully by announcing the withdrawal without seeking parliamentary approval.
Judge Phineas Mojapelo said the power to conduct international treaties belonged to the executive, but that such agreements must go before parliament.
“It’s expected that the executive go back to parliament. We have rights, we have obligations, and we have parliament,” the judge said during the court session,and you can see at http://www.breakingnewstop.com
Mojapelo added that government decisions must be based on “the expressed authority of the constitution.”
Burundi and Gambia have also announced plans in the past to pull out of the ICC. However, newly elected Gambian President Adama Barrow has said he will reverse his predecessor’s decision and keep the country in the ICC.
African countries have accused the ICC on focusing on human rights violations in Africa, instead of other continents. There has been concern that an eventual mass withdrawal by African countries could weaken the authority of the international tribunal.
Advocates of the court retaliate that most of the African cases before the ICC were referred there by African leaders who worried their courts could not handle the complexities of the severe kind of cases that land before the court.