Jacob Zuma flouts South African court order, Constitution and international law, allowing Sudanese president al-Bashir to escape arrest on ICC charges of genocide



Norimitsu Onishi, “South Africa High Court Says Allowing Bashir to Leave Violated Constitution, June 15, 2015.

Isabel Ferrer, “Un nuevo revés para La Haya; La Corte Penal ve dañada su credibilidad tras la salida de Sudáfrica del presidente sudanés; Un tribunal de Sudáfrica ordena que el presidente sudanés no deje el país,” El Pais, 15 de junio 2015 (13:45 CEST).

Le Monde.fr avec AFP, “Recherché par la justice internationale, Omar Al-Bachir est parvenu à quitter l’Afrique du Sud,” Le Monde, le 15 juin 2015 (à 15h05, Mis à jour à 17h20).

“South Africa strays from Mandela’s vision, abstaining in Security Council vote on Syria— Update #69 (July 27),” The Trenchant Observer, July 27, 2012.

Some observers have described Zuma’s violation of the South African constitution and international law as a blow against the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is far from true. It is those who violate and throw obstacles in the way of the effective functioning of international law and institutions who will be remembered, for their obstructionism, not the norms and institutions introduced to advance the rule of law.

In 10 or 20 years’ time, Zuma will be remembered as participating in the African Union’s assault on the ICC, his vote to abstain on the May 15, 2013 U.N. General Assembly resolution condemning the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, and the efoorts of African leaders to weaken the international machinery established for the protection of human rights, including the merger of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights with the African Court of Justice, an organ of the African Union, to form a new African Court of Justice and Human Rights.

Zuma, unlike Nelson Mandela, will not be remembered for his defense of human rights in Africa.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.