SA moves to pull out of International Criminal Court

The Justice and Correctional Services committee is due to be briefed on an alternative system for the prosecution of international crimes, contained in the International Crimes Bill on Wednesday.

The brief will set in motion South Africa’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

RELATED: ICC is not a precondition for us to be able to prosecute war crimes - Masutha

The Institute for Security Studies has written an article on the complexities of setting up the world’s first regional court, the African international crimes court.

Bongani Bingwa chats to the organisation's transnational threats and international crime programme senior researcher, Allan Ngari for more insight.

Last week the Justice Minister Ronald Lamola revived an International Crimes Bill. In 2015, when Omar al-Bashir attended the AU summit in South Africa, and the was pressure to arrest him and surrender him to the ICC.

Allan Ngari, Senior researcher - Institute for Security Studies

He says South Africa's own acts, compelled the country to arrest Al-Bashir and surrender him to the ICC.

But the executive wanted to give effect to a rule in customary international law that recognises diplomatic immunity for heads of states.

Allan Ngari, Senior researcher - Institute for Security Studies

He says African heads of states then adopted the Malabo Protocol aimed at creating what would be an African Criminal International Crimes Court.

Essentially the court would then look at a myriad of international crimes. However, this court has not come to existence, it was adopted in 2014, but there is little evidence to suggest that African leaders want this court to exist.

Allan Ngari, Senior researcher - Institute for Security Studies

He says the Malabo Protocol is a good idea but is an ambitious project.

Because of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that compelled South Africa to prosecute war criminals, this new bill repeals that. The new bill aims to repeal South Africa's involvement in the International Crimes Court.

Allan Ngari, Senior researcher - Institute for Security Studies

Listen below to the full conversation:


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