Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Bill [B10-2011]: proposed amendments

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Defence and Military Veterans

21 November 2011
Chairperson: Mr M Motimele (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee looked at the proposed amendments to the Geneva Conventions Bill [B10-2011]. These proposals were based on public hearing held with the Institute of Security Studies, the South African Litigation Centre and the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative. The proposals included the insertion of a new clause which recognised that the courts must consider convention international law, customary international law, comparable foreign law and the Constitution when considering matters arising from the legislation.

Meeting report

Amendments proposed to the Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Bill [B10-2011]
The Chairperson read out the proposed amendments to the Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Bill.

New Clause
The Department proposed that a new clause be inserted:

Applicable Law

3. In addition to the Constitution and the law, any court in the Republic hearing any matter arising from the application of this Act must also consider and, where, appropriate, may apply (a) convention international law, (b) customary international law, and (c) comparable foreign law.

Clause 5
On page 6, in line 9, to omit “subsection (1) and to substitute “this section”.

Clause 6
On page 6, after line 27, to add the following subsection:

(4) Nothing in this Act must be construed as precluding the prosecution of any person accused of having committed a breach under customary international law before this Act took effect.

Mr D Maynier (DA) asked whether these amendments were giving effect to the proposals submitted to the Department of Defence during the public hearings.

Mr Micro Moabelo, Deputy Director: Legislation, Department of Defence confirmed that the amendments were indeed giving effect to the proposed amendments.

The Chairperson said that the Bill would be deliberated clause by clause at the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned.


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