If ever there was a bad idea, this is it.
With its history of apartheid and injustice, South Africa under Nelson Mandela was an inspirational force behind the International Criminal Court in 1998.
Now, President Jacob Zuma wants to withdraw the country from the Rome Statute, the Court’s founding treaty, and repeal national legislation outlawing atrocity crimes.
Call on South Africa to stay with the ICC
Dear President Zuma,
I am writing to urge you to keep South Africa in the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to discontinue the ICC Repeal Act that would remove domestic provisions outlawing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
South Africa has long been a beacon of hope for human rights in Africa and beyond and has been a leading light behind the establishment of the ICC.
Yes, global access to justice is uneven. No, the ICC is not perfect. But the solution lies in more and better justice, not less.
The world needs South Africa to continue to play a key role in shaping the future of the international criminal justice system.
Tell Zuma to put victims first. Add your voice now.
In an important victory in February 2017, South Africa’s high court found that Zuma’s bid to leave the ICC was unconstitutional as it did not have parliamentary approval.
But that decision can be appealed, and parliament may very well give the go ahead if a withdrawal bill is put before it.
Meanwhile, a separate bill to repeal South Africa's domestic legislation outlawing ICC crimes is soon to be voted upon.
We're collecting signatures to send to the Committee tasked with considering the repeal bill and ICC withdrawal efforts. You can also make submissions directly before 8 March 2017.
“Our own continent has suffered enough horrors emanating from the inhumanity of human beings towards human beings. Who knows, many of these might not have occurred, or at least been minimized, had there been an effectively functioning ICC.”
The ICC is the world's only permanent international court to try individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It only acts if governments fail to do so first.