Certainly, there have been blowing a wind of dismay towards the International Criminal Court; the reasons are not subtle, but understandable by the men and woman fearing for their future. The ICC has for some reasons been finding lots of criminal activity and leaders misusing their powers to create crimes against humanity on the African continent. While the same ICC has not used their powers and laws on certain other questionable wars and legality behind the support of internal wars elsewhere. Therefore, the totalitarian and the lingering presidents that fear their respect and legacy, as they could be taken to court for their acts while being Presidents!
Well, here is a key piece of knowledge from the briefing written by the International Commission of Jurist (ICJ) that was dropped this March, in the same amount of days that the Republic of South Africa has released their Withdrawal of the Withdrawal from the ICC and the Rome Statute. Therefore, the ICC can be rest assured that the South African republic will not leave now.
ICJ Reasoning for problems with ICC:
“While there are no doubt many serious situations that have so far escaped the Prosecutor’s purview, it is important to note that because the ICC functions within the jurisdictional limits of the Rome Statute, it cannot assume jurisdiction and commence investigations in respect of States that are not parties to the Rome Statute or nationals of such States. As noted above, in such situations, it is up to the Security Council, to decide whether to refer a situation to the Prosecutor, who will then decide whether to prosecute. The powers of the Security Council, including those concerning the use of the veto when referring situations to the ICC for investigation, also require reconsideration and reform. Efforts toward reconsideration and reform could be led by South Africa and other African States” (…) “The ICJ notes that most African States that are parties to the Rome Statute appear to remain committed to the Court. It is significant that the newly installed President of Gambia has decided to withdraw the notice of withdrawal that was issued by his predecessor” (ICJ, P: 8-9, 2017).
Recommendation of the ICJ:
“Honourable Parliamentarians should ensure that:
- The Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act Repeal Bill [B23-2016] should not be passed;
- South Africa should remain a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
- South Africa should engage, where appropriate with other African States, in actively pursuing appropriate reforms within the Assembly of State Parties, with a view to making the ICC more effective in advancing the objectives of international justice.
- South Africa should actively encourage other African states to put in place legislation required to empower domestic courts with the ability to try genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- South Africa should continue to work constructively with civil society on the advancement of international criminal justice” (ICJ, P: 10, 2017).
Still it is good to see the ICJ support the Republic of South Africa will to stay within the Rome Statute and the ICC. Even as they did have questions towards the African leaders and States, as the ICC has not acted towards the United States or United Kingdom for their ill-will wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So the good news is that the Republic of South Africa still is a member of the ICC, but there is a will to leave there. That will not dwindle away, as the staunch controversy towards the ICC does not go away with a briefing like this or the ways the image of ICC is seen on the continent. That does not leave with the Gambian and South Africa now returning, or not leaving at all. This shows the problems that the leadership has with the court and their legal battles on the continent. That will not be diffused, even as this is good news for those who want to believe in International justice.
Still, there are enough issues that the ICC has to work-on and show less bias in the pursuit of criminal offenders to give the people on the continent faith in their judgement. Peace.
International Commission Jurist (ICJ) – ‘South Africa should not withdraw from the International Criminal Court’ (March 2017)