1887

oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Jurisdiksiegrondslae vir die vervolging van internasionale misdade met verwysing na Suid-Afrika se verpligtinge as lidstaat van die internasionale strafhof : regte

Volume 9, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1995-5928

 

Abstract

Onlangse gebeure - veral die Noord-Gautengse hoë hof se tersydestelling van die Suid-Afrikaanse nasionale direkteur van openbare vervolging en die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens se besluit om nie misdade teen die mensdom wat Zimbabwiese burgers in 2007 in Zimbabwe gepleeg het, te ondersoek nie - vorm die agtergrond vir hierdie artikel oor die Wet op die Implementering van die Statuut van Rome oor die Internasionale Strafhof 27 van 2002 ("die Implementeringswet") en die implikasies van sodanige implementeringswetgewing vir lidstate van die internasionale strafhof ("die hof").


Aangesien die hof self slegs oor aanvullendheidsjurisdiksie beskik en dus net kan optree indien die veiligheidsraad of 'n lidstaat hom so versoek, óf 'n lidstaat self nie vervolging wil of kan instel nie, verplig dit lidstate van die hof om universele jurisdiksie uit te oefen en plegers van internasionale misdaad nasionaal te vervolg. In Suid-Afrikaanse verband het die uitvaardiging van die Implementeringswet statutêre inhoud aan die uitoefening van universele jurisdiksie verleen. Aan die hand van die Implementeringswet beskou hierdie artikel dus die erns waarmee die land sy verpligtinge as lidstaat van die hof benader.
Hoewel die regverdiging van universele jurisdiksie histories met grondgebied en nasionaliteit (of die gebrek daaraan) verband hou, toon hierdie artikel voorts dat die internasionale gemeenskap se afsku van 'n misdaad eerder nou as regverdiging vir vervolging deur universele jurisdiksie dien. Universele jurisdiksie gaan dus deesdae om die beskerming van die belange en waardes van die internasionale stategemeenskap.
Laastens doen die artikel ook 'n moontlike wysiging van die Implementeringswet, óf die instel van beleidsraamwerke, aan die hand om uitdruklik voorsiening te maak vir ondersoeke na - eerder as net verhore van - internasionale misdaad ingevolge universele jurisdiksie. Hierdie voorstel spruit uit die hofuitspraak in bogenoemde Zimbabwe-saak, wat die staatsorgaan se ondeurdagte besluit om nié 'n ondersoek na die internasionale misdaad van marteling in te stel nie, hersien het.


The recent judgement of the is the contextual background of the article. In this judgement the applicants were successful in an application to review and set aside a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the South African Police Services not to investigate alleged crimes against humanity that occurred in Zimbabwe in 2009 by members of the security forces in that country against a number of Zimbabwean citizens. Incidental to this judgement, the press has also recently reported that the director of public prosecutions has agreed to investigate alleged crimes against humanity that occurred at the order of the exiled former president of Madagascar currently living in South Africa.
South Africa is a member state of the Statute of Rome which created the international criminal court. The Statute of Rome has been incorporated in domestic legislation in terms of the Implementation of the Statute of Rome Act 27 of 2002. The stipulations in this act are the legal basis on which the application in the Zimbabwe case was made and in terms of which the request to the Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate the alleged slaughter in Madagascar was made earlier this year.
The article sets out to describe the jurisdictional base of the international criminal court and shows that its jurisdiction is conservative in scope. It shows that in terms of the Statute of Rome it was agreed by member states that the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute criminals on counts of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression (once that crime has been defined by the international community) is that of member states. This is referred to as "complementarity jurisdiction" and the concept is explained.
This jurisdictional scheme is now clearly contained in South Africa's Implementation Act. One of the cornerstone provisions of this act (following on the provisions of the Statute of Rome) is the incorporation of the international principle of universal jurisdiction. This principle has now found domestic statutory recognition in the Implementation Act. The article explains the origins and application of universal jurisdiction. It focuses on the two versions of universal jurisdiction, which, in its narrower application, requires that in order to prosecute international crimes the presence of the accused person is required on the territory of the prosecuting state. The more liberal version of universal jurisdiction is that it may be applied even in the absence of the accused person when charges are brought.
The provisions of the Implementation Act in giving statutory recognition to the principle of universal jurisdiction inevitably leads to an investigation into South Africa's legal obligations in terms of its membership of the international criminal court. These obligations and their significance with regard to ending a cycle of impunity that has traditionally attached to the perpetrators of international crimes are highlighted.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/litnet/9/3/EJC129832
2012-12-01
2016-12-11

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error