NADEL welcomes government’s withdrawal of the Repeal Bill on Rome Statute of ICC

May 1st, 2017
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By Kgomotso Ramotsho

The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) welcomed the South African government’s withdrawal of the Repeal Bill on the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court (ICC). In a press release NADEL said acting Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Minister Faith Muthambi, stated that the withdrawal of the Bill is not an indication of the abandonment of the process. NADEL complimented the minister and other key role players for respect and speedy execution of the court order.

The withdrawal came after the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria ruled that:

  • The notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the ICC, signed by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on 19 October 2016, without prior parliamentary approval, was unconstitutional and invalid.
  • The cabinet decision to deliver the notice of withdrawal to the United Nations Secretary-General without prior parliamentary approval, was unconstitutional and invalid.
  • The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and the president of the Republic of South Africa, are ordered to forthwith revoke the (said) notice of withdrawal.

NADEL said it remains aware of the challenges and imperfections of the ICC and that they are not convinced that a withdrawal from the ICC is the best solution. The organisation added that there must be discussions and the paramount of these discussions should be the promotion and protection of human rights, specifically those of the poor and vulnerable.

NADEL said dictators and other cruel leaders who engage in acts of crime against humanity, genocide and gross violations of human rights, which result in the highest risk to women and children who are often casualties in war and terror, must never be protected. NADEL congratulated and extended gratitude to role players in the withdrawal of the Rome Statute Repeal Bill.

NADEL also appealed to those in power to exercise their power as stated in the Constitution, to adhere to both procedural and substantive dictates of the Constitution and hear the voices of the civil society and the many stakeholders fighting for justice for all.

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2017 (May) DR 9.

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