South Africa's obligation as member state of the International Criminal Court: the Al-Bashir controversy
Swanepoel, C. F.
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This article is a commentary on the judgement of the North Gauteng High Court on 24 June 2015 in the matter of The Southern Africa Litigation Centre v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, which dealt with the recent controversy surrounding the South African government's failure to arrest Mr Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, president of the Republic of Sudan, to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). This judgement will be analysed with particular reference to the ICC's Pre-Trial Chamber Decision on the Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Regarding Omar Al Bashir's Arrest and Surrender to the Court, to which the North Gauteng court referred. The judgement of 24 June was preceded by an order of the court on 14 June, which declared the state's conduct constitutionally invalid, having failed to take steps to arrest and/or detain Mr Bashir. The state was ordered to take all reasonable steps to "prepare to arrest President Bashir without a warrant in terms of section 40 (1) (k) of the Criminal Procedure Act, 51 of 1977 and detain him, pending a formal request for his surrender from the International Criminal Court". The judgement under discussion is the court's reasons for this order.