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Zambia to remain a member of the ICC

It is reported that Zambia will not withdraw from the ICC. This comes of the back of a national consultative process concerning Zambia's withdrawal from the Court. It is particularly striking that 91,43% of petitioners were opposed to Zambia's withdrawal. This goes to show that - while there still seems to be support for mass withdrawal among various African states' political representatives (made evident through the AU's earlier non-binding recommendation to withdraw) - such support may not be shared by members of the general public.

One wonders what result a similar process would yield in South Africa? It seems that the South African government is now firmly at the forefront of the anti-ICC movement. At this stage, while it has noted the reluctance of other African states for a mass withdrawal, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has recently reiterated that it still firmly set on withdrawing from the Court, describing its decision as "a principle matter" that "still stands". It is interesting that the relevant part of President Jacob Zuma's Op-ed is wedged between a call for United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform and a declaration of the ANC's commitment to "the global anti-imperialist movement". Both noble ideals, but does the ICC as an institution deserve to be put on a par with the problems of imbalance of power in the UNSC and imperialism? The ICC itself cannot escape the imbalance of power in the UNSC and is itself also partly a victim thereof when cases are referred to it or deferred on the basis of politics not justice. And, while the nuts and bolts of the ICC is definitely very strongly influenced by western liberal legalism, that influence is also widely supported as representative of universal values by many non-western states.

The ICC's decision concerning the issue of South Africa's non-cooperation over the arrest of President Al-Bashir is expected on 6 July. We will be reporting on those developments here.

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