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ICC exit notice a breach of separation of powers, court rules

On Wednesday, the High Court in Pretoria ruled that the notice to withdraw from the court was unconstitutional, invalid and must be revoked.

FILE: The International Criminal Courts building (ICC) in The Hague. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - A court has ruled that the executive’s notice to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) without parliamentary approval amounts to a breach of the separation of powers.

On Wednesday, the High Court in Pretoria ruled that the notice to withdraw was unconstitutional, invalid and must be revoked.

Government made the decision after an earlier ruling found that it had acted unlawfully by failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he was in South Africa.

Judge Phineas Mojapela says it would have been unwise if the Constitution had given power to the executive to terminate international agreements without prior approval from Parliament.

He says such a decision would result in the termination of existing rights and obligations.

The court has ordered the executive to revoke the withdrawal.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)