Procedure for Concluding International Agreements

 

The procedure for concluding international agreements is set out in Chapter 5 of the 2006 Manual on Executive Acts of the Office of the President of South Africa.

The procedure is as follow:

  • Obtain a legal opinion from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development that will deal with the agreement’s consistency with domestic law
  • Contact the relevant desk at DIRCO to provide inputs on the agreement from a political point of view.
  • The desk at DIRCO will request a legal opinion from the State Law advisors (IL) that will deal with the agreement’s consistency with international law
  • The desk at DIRCO will provide feedback to the line function department after which the line function department will prepare a final text of the agreement, explanatory memorandum and a draft President’s Minute
  • The line function department must forward the following documentation ( in hard copy) to the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor (IL) for certification:
    • Draft text of President’s Minute on prescribed format
    • Explanatory memorandum of agreement
    • Final text of the agreement
    • Copy of the legal advice of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
    • Copy of the legal advice of the Office of the Chief State Law advisor (IL) in DIRCO
    • Certificate of authenticity issued by the Minister of the responsible government department in case of multilateral agreements

All documents must be in twofold and placed in a Z137 folder

  • After certification the line function department takes the following documentation to the Minister to counter sign the President’s Minute, and thereafter to the Presidency to obtain the necessary approval to sign the agreement:
    • Text of President’s Minute
    • Explanatory memorandum of agreement
    • Certified text of the agreement
    • Copy of the legal advice of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
    • Copy of the legal advice of the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor (IL) in DIRCO
    • Certificate of authenticity issued by the Minister of the responsible government department in case of multilateral agreements
  • After the President has signed the Minute, the Treaty Section may be contacted for binding thereof.
  • After signature the agreement must be deposited with the official custodian which is the South African Treaty Section, located in the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor (IL) in DIRCO
  • All agreements have to be tabled in Parliament.

More Information
General Information
   
Terminology
   
Binding of agreements
   
Depositing and Registration
   
Tabling of agreements
   
Ratification/Accession procedure
 
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