South Africa and the International Criminal Court

"By remaining as a State Party to the ICC, South Africa can influence some important changes to the functioning of the Court."
John Jeffrey​
Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, South Africa
"If South Africa does not lead the way in following through with the laying of charges and the prosecution of the crime of apartheid, we cannot hope to see this in other countries"
Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh​​
Director of Africa Programme at the International Commission of Jurists
"As partners, rather than divorcees, the ICC and South Africa stand a chance of achieving accountability for the world’s worst crimes."
Max du Plessis​
Senior Counsel and Advocate, South Africa, and Adjunct Professor, International Law, Nelson Mandela University
"The ICC works within an imperfect framework. We all know that: however, leading nations like South Africa, should spearhead initiatives to improve the Court. This is something that can only be done within the system."
Navi Pillay
Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Member of the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability
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South Africa represents a microcosm of the dynamic relationship between the International Criminal Court and Africa, having variously played the roles of supporter, detractor, withdrawer and constructive critic of the Court. Below, experts discuss how they perceive the relationship between South Africa and the ICC today. They propose practical steps for both country and Court to better satisfy their mutual interests.

How can South Africa’s stature, as well as its wealth of experience in matters of international and transitional justice, help lead discussions and efforts to reform and improve the Court?

Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, South Africa
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John Jeffery
Director of Africa Programme at the International Commission of Jurists
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Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh

Where does South Africa’s relationship with the ICC stand today?

Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, South Africa
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John Jeffery
Director of Africa Programme at the International Commission of Jurists
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KAAJAL RAMJATHAN-KEOGH
Senior Counsel and Advocate, South Africa, and Adjunct Professor, International Law, Nelson Mandela University
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MAX DU PLESSIS
Former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, former Chair of the Independent Expert Review of the ICC, and Member of the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability
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Richard Goldstone
Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Member of the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability
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Navi Pillay

How can South Africa, the African Union and the International Criminal Court work together more effectively in order to satisfy their mutual interests?

Senior Counsel and Advocate, South Africa, and Adjunct Professor, International Law, Nelson Mandela University
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Senior Counsel and Advocate, South Africa, and Adjunct Professor, International Law, Nelson Mandela University
Max du Plessis

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