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Ruling on al-Bashir debacle expected today

Judges will today rule on whether govt may appeal a ruling that failure to arrest al-Bashir was unlawful.

FILE. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - A full bench of three judges is expected to rule today on whether government may appeal its ruling that the failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was unlawful and unconstitutional.

In June, the bench ruled that government was bound by commitments to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to arrest al-Bashir who was visiting South Africa to attend the African Union Summit.

The Sudanese president is wanted by the ICC on several charges including genocide and crimes against humanity.

Government has argued that there is a reasonable prospect of another court reaching a different conclusion on South Africa's obligation to the ICC.

It also believes that if left as it is, the order could have far reaching consequences in the future, which is why it should be tested in a higher court.

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre has argued that there were clear and unambiguous sections of law which compelled the government to act.

Meanwhile, the ICC in Hague has asked government to make a submission explaining why it failed to execute its obligations.

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