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Minister Masutha studying court ruling on ICC exit

A court found that the executive violated the Constitution when it notified the UN of its withdrawal from the ICC without prior parliamentary approval.

FILE: Justice Minister Michael Masutha. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

PRETORIA - A court has found that the executive violated the Constitution when it notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) without prior parliamentary approval.

The High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday ordered that President Jacob Zuma and senior members of the executive revoke the notification after it was found to be unconstitutional and invalid.

Government made the decision following an earlier court ruling that it was obligated to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he attended the African Union summit in Johannesburg.

Judge Phineas Mojapelo says the national executive simply did not have the power to deliver the notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute to the United Nations prior to obtaining parliamentary approval.

“Thus the national executive’s decision to deliver the notice of withdrawal without obtaining prior parliamentary approval violated section 231(2) of the Constitution and breached the separation of powers doctrine enshrined in that section.”

Justice Minister Michael Masutha says he’s first studying the judgment before announcing how to respond to it.

But he says the country still intends to pull out of the International Criminal Court.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)