As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.
The defence argues that it would breach Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights to order extradition of this defendant to South Africa. It would breach Article 2 if there is known to be a real risk to Mr Dewani of loss of life in the receiving 45 country. To establish Article 3 the defence must show that there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk that the requested person will be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the requesting state. In each case it is necessary to show there where the risk is from non-state agents, that there is in addition a lack of reasonable protection in the receiving country. It is common ground that an assessment must be made according to the specific circumstances as they would apply to Mr Dewani rather than generalized concerns. A high threshold is required to establish Article 3. The ill-treatment must necessarily be serious such that it is an affront to fundamental humanitarian principles to remove an individual to a country where he is at risk of serious ill-treatment. – Judge Howard Riddle in judgment in the Shrien Dewani extradition caseBACK TO TOP