South African Court Rules Against Government's ICC Withdrawal

A November 23, 2015 picture shows the courtroom of the new International Criminal Court (ICC) building in The Hague, The Netherlands. Zambia is the latest African country considering its membership in the court. Martijn Beekman/Getty

South Africa's decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been ruled unconstitutional by the country's High Court, the opposition party which brought the challenge to the government's move said on Wednesday.

South Africa has officially notified the United Nations of its intent to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the 1998 treaty establishing The Hague-based court.

The International Criminal Court, which opened in July 2002 and has 124 member states, is the first legal body with permanent international jurisdiction to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.