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South Africa's ICC withdrawal 'unconstitutional and invalid' - High Court rules

South Africa's ICC withdrawal 'unconstitutional and invalid' - High Court rules

South Africa

A High Court in South Africa has ruled that the government’s move to withdraw from the International Criminal Court was ‘unconstitutional and invalid.’

‘‘We have WON in our application to have South Africa’s withdrawal from theICC set aside as unconstitutional and procedurally flawed,’‘ the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) 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.

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 its diplomatic relations.

The ICC was opened in 2002, it 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Gambian President Adama Barrow recently rescinded a decision by his predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, to withdraw the country from the group.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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