“The decision by the South African government not to arrest al-Bashirwas inconsistent with South African law. Therefore the application is dismissed,” Judge Carole Lewis said on Tuesday.
When al-Bashir entered South Africa in June last year for an African Union summit, the SA Litigation Centre approached the high court for an order to compel the government to enforce an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant on him.
On 15 June, the High Court in Pretoria ordered the government to arrest al-Bashir and said its failure to do so would be unconstitutional. Despite this, he was allowed to leave the country.
South Africa is a signatory to the ICC’s Rome Statute, which sets out the crimes falling within the ICC’s jurisdiction and the procedures and mechanisms for states to co-operate with the court.
The ICC had two outstanding arrest warrants for al-Bashir, issued in 2009 and 2010. It wants him to stand trial on allegations of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes committed in Sudan’s western province of Darfur.