South Africa, the ICC and the UN Human Rights Council
This paper discussed two public dialogues whereby seven recommendations emerged from the talks. The first recommendation advises that civil society must maintain sustained pressure on South Africa not to withdraw from the ICC. The second was about the African states which should use their majority at the ICC constructively to place their concerns before the Assembly of Parties, and propose amendments to the 1998 Rome Statute. South Africa and other African governments must continue pushing for the reform of the UN Security Council, particularly as it relates to referrals to the ICC. All African countries should cede jurisdiction on war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide to the African Court of Justice and Human Rights in order to establish a viable regional court as an alternative to the ICC, which should be a court of last resort. The granting of immunity to sitting African heads of state must be carefully weighed against a fair justice system that holds leaders to account and avoids impunity. The South African government should not place its political and economic interests on the continent ahead of the rights of victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Justice for victims must remain the priority. South African government departments responsible for the implementation of the provisions of international human rights law instruments - including the departments of justice and constitutional development, social development, home affairs, and health - must be fully capacitated, both in terms of budget and human resources, to submit reports to the UN Human Rights Council timeously, and to implement the programmes emanating from this domestication.