Africa Group for Justice and Accountability Statement on Ruling regarding South Africa’s Withdrawal from the International Criminal Court
The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) welcomes the ruling of the High Court in Pretoria regarding South Africa’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The AGJA encourages South Africa, an indispensable ally of international justice and the ICC, to reaffirm its commitment to the ICC.
On 22 February 2017, the High Court ruled that the October 2016 executive order issued by the South African government to notify the United Nations of South Africa’s withdrawal from the ICC was “invalid and unconstitutional” because the government had not first consulted parliament on the matter. The High Court further ordered the government of South Africa to revoke its notification of the withdrawal.
South Africa’s parliament is currently considering a bill to repeal the South African Implementation of the Rome Statute Act and has asked interested observers to submit their views on the matter. The AGJA will continue its efforts to convince Parliament not to repeal the implementing law.
The AGJA repeats its view that the concerns of all states can be heard and considered at the Assembly of States Parties as well as other appropriate legal and diplomatic channels. In line with its mandate and its Kilimanjaro Principles, the Africa Group offers its expertise as well as its mediation and facilitation capacities to South Africa, the ICC, and all other relevant actors.