South Africa/Sudan: Amicus curiae in ICC cooperation hearing on South Africa’s failure to arrest Sudanese President Al Bashir

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Salc : Staff Writer

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) appeared before the ICC on 7 April to argue that the chamber should make a finding of non-compliance against South Africa for its failure to arrest President Omar Al-Bashir when he attended an African Union (AU) Summit in South Africa in June 2015. In December 2016 the ICC had made a decision to convene a public hearing under Article 87(7) of the Rome Statute to discuss issues relevant to its determination of whether to make a finding of non-compliance by South Africa. SALC was admitted to make amicus curiae submissions before the chamber despite strong opposition by the South African government.

The SALC submissions sought to demonstrate that South Africa had clear domestic and international legal obligations to arrest and surrender President Al-Bashir to the ICC. The Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC ruled that South Africa had had failed to comply with its international law obligations as stipulated in the provisions of the Rome Statute. The PTC did not however refer South Africa to either the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute, or to the UNSC as required by Article 87(7) of the Statute.

SALC was assisted by the following advocates: Maximillian du Plessis, Isabell goodman and Lerato Zikalala.

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