Monday 30 July 2012

South African Constitutional Court Denies Extradition without Diplomatic Assurances

South Africa’s Constitutional Court issued a ruling on 27 July (Tsembe et al.) denying the Government’s attempt to extradite two individuals to Botswana where they might face the death penalty. Originally, South Africa had sought an assurance that the death penalty not be imposed, but Botswana refused to issue one. South Africa then took the view that it would extradite anyway. Lawyers for the two men (one of them has since died) took the case to the Constitutional Court, where they have prevailed.
The Government sought to make a number of petty distinctions with existing South African law on the subject, but the Court did not see anything in these arguments.
The judgment confirms that the standard to be applied in such refoulement cases is whether there is a real risk of capital punishment. There is some divergence in international human rights law on this point, to the extent that the expulsion, deportation or extradition involves the death penalty rather than torture. There is widespread support for the view that in torture cases, even diplomatic assurances are not sufficient. With respect to the death penalty, however, diplomatic assurances are sought (and generally obtained). Moreover, I know of no case where a State that provided such diplomatic assurances to to impose the death penalty has ever reneged on its commitment.
In answer to the charge that there was perhaps not a real risk of execution, the South African Court noted that Botswana has mandatory death penalty provisions, and that it had moreover refused to provide an assurance that the death penalty not be imposed.
Botswana is one of a handful of African states that still use capital punishment. It may be the only state in southern Africa to have used capital punishment in recent years.
This is another proud moment for the rule of law in South Africa, and another important contribution to international human rights law by its distinguished Constitutional Court.
Thanks to Max Du Plessis, who argued the case on behalf of the accused men for Lawyers for Human Rights, and who, along with his colleagues, deserves our congratulations.

1 comment:

Sappa Tamang said...

Nepal Base Camp Treks (P) Ltd (team guide) are not only provide you a perfect holiday tour services, also here to organize your trouble less trekking holidays in scenic green hills to icy peaks where reachable on foot.
There are hundreds of best and fantastic trekking tour operators in Nepal, offer you to choose many popular trekking destinations in high Himalayas as, Everest Base Camp Trek, Everest Chola Pass Gokyo Lake trek, Everest Gokyo Renjo la Pass Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Thorong La Pass Trek , Upper Mustang Trek,Annapurna Nar –Phu Hidden Valley Trek, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, Manaslu Circuit via Tsum Valley Trek, Langtang Valley Trek,Gosaikund Helambu Trek, Kathmandu Valley Circuit Trek and untouched tourist destinations of Ganesh Himal Camping Trek, Tawal Earthquake Area Camping Trek, Upper Dolpa Trek, Makalu Base Camp Trek and much more… as you desirable.
If you are looking for perfect trekking operator and perfect guide who take care all your responsible and looking unexpected trouble free holidays in Nepal, our professional guides, Bibek Gurung, Buddhi Tamang, Anjan Waiba, Debman Tamang and female guide Pramila Lama are our young and 10 /12 year experienced license holder in Nepal Base Camp Treks (P) Ltd.
We are fully government Registered small group trekking company in nepal and trained under the ministry of tourism sector around 10/15 years. We operate only trekking in Nepal Himalaya and small peak climbing.
You are heartily welcome to Nepal Base Camp Treks (P) Ltd. to experience your wonder trekking activities in Himalaya with our team believes "providing good service" is our motto. Our team also believes not to regret your past, not to worry about future but let's enjoy the journey with us.