South Africa’s Decision to Leave ICC Ruled ‘Unconstitutional and Invalid’

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Africa has 34 signatories to the Rome Statute, the treaty that set up the court (GETTY IMAGES)

South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been ruled “unconstitutional and invalid” by the High Court.

South Africa notified the UN of its intention to leave last October, saying the ICC pursued “regime change”.

The court ruled in favour of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), which argued that the government had to first seek parliamentary approval.

The court ordered the government to revoke its notice of withdrawal.

In his response, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said the government still intended to quit the ICC, Reuters news agency reports.

The government would consider its options, including a possible appeal, after studying the full judgement, he is quoted as saying.

The decision to pull out came after a dispute over Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s visit to the country in 2015.

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