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Has Bensouda’s South Africa Power-Play Backfired?

bensoudaBack in October International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda submitted a nine page missive to the pre-trial chamber seeking to establish a December 31, 2015 deadline for South Africa to explain its (not-so-cut-and-dried-as-advertised) decision not to arrest Omar al-Bashir during a regional summit last July. The filing sought to rein in South Africa’s domestic wrangling over the issue “out of concern for the potentially open-ended time frame that may result from the need for resolution of the domestic proceedings…and the manner in which the proceedings have been represented in South Africa’s submissions in support of its request for an extension of time.”

The pre-trial chamber, so far as we can tell, simply ignored the request, but it looks as if rather than forcing South Africa to kneel, Bensouda’s attempted power-play may have made the nation more, not less, defiant.

From Business Day Live:

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The Great Unraveling Begins

ICC 1

By Shawn Macomber • Lawfare Tyranny

South Africa will exit the International Criminal Court.

For a primer on why, see our previous coverage:

South Africa Refuses to Kiss the ICC Ring. 

Not So Simple: Inside South Africa’s Decision Not to Arrest Omar al-Bashir.

The West to Africa: Do As We Say Not As We Do.

How Unpopular Is the ICC in Africa?

South Africa Doubles Down on Defiance.