The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) concedes that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is not perfect, but says South Africa needs to remain within the body to influence change from the inside.
This is among the recommendations made by the commission together with South African Jurists to Parliament’s justice portfolio committee.
Earlier on Tuesday, it emerged that South Africa has formally revoked its withdrawal from the ICC.
The International Commission of Jurists’ Arnold Tsunga says he is aware of the perception that the ICC is being used to undermine African leaders.
“You’ve external entities of sovereign nations that are making decisions for the of assembly of third parties in a way which undermines the sovereign role of the members of the ICC.”
However, Tsunga says South Africa should stay in the ICC and not view its participation within it as a stepping down from African leadership.
“I don’t think the decision that South Africa wants to take on this matter should be one that falls in the category of South Africa reducing its level of leadership as a country, but one that believes very strongly in justice and accountability.”
Burundi and Gambia were the other countries that followed South Africa’s decision to leave the ICC, but Gambia has since abandoned that plan.