[MEDIA ADVISORY]BASHIR CASE GOES TO THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL

Salc : Staff Writer

Johannesburg – On Friday 12 February 2016, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) will hear the states petition for leave to appeal in the Bashir matter. The matter pertains to the South African government’s failure to arrest President Omar al Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

What: Leave to appeal in the case of Minister of Justice and others v SALC (Bashir case)

Where: Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA)

When: Friday 12 February 2016 at 09:45 COURT A

President Bashir is wanted by the ICC for the alleged perpetration of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. As a signatory to the Rome Statute and having domesticated the Statute, South Africa is obligated to arrest President Omar al Bashir if he is found on South African territory.

President Bashir arrived in South Africa for the African Union Summit in June 2015 and after hearing of his arrival and the fact that he had not been immediately arrested, SALC, seeking to ensure that the government honours its domestic and international law commitments, approached the North Gauteng High Court seeking the implementation of the ICC arrest warrant.

The Court issued an interim order on 14 June 2015 preventing Bashir from leaving the country pending the finalisation of the matter which was set down for hearing on 15 June 2015.

The Court reconvened on 15 June 2015 and after hearing submissions from all the parties, it ordered that President Omar al Bashir be arrested and detained for subsequent transfer to The Hague. Despite the court’s ruling, the government allowed President Bashir to leave the country.

The Court found that the state’s actions were unconstitutional and therefore invalid.

After being denied leave to appeal by the North Gauteng High Court, the state is taking the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal alleging that President Bashir is protected by head of state immunity hence their alleged inability to arrest him for transfer to the ICC.

For more information:

Angela Mudukuti, International Criminal Justice Lawyer, SALC angelam@salc.org.za  +27 10 596 8538

For background information on the case: https://www.southernafricalitigationcentre.org/cases/ongoing-cases/south-africasudan-seeking-implementation-of-icc-arrest-warrant-for-president-bashir/

For Twitter updates: #Bashir