ABA’s ICC Project/Ipsos polling shows most Americans believe South Africa should have arrested Sudanese President Al-Bashir.
Washington, D.C., Nov. 25, 2015 – The ABA’s ICC Project today released the results of its most recent poll done in partnership with Ipsos Public Affairs, and it showed good news for US-ICC relations. After four waves of polling over two years, the data showed a positive trend in Americans’ opinions on membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC), specifically a 5% increase in agreement with the statement, “US should become a full member of the International Criminal Court and robustly support all of its work.” Similarly, there was a 2% decrease in agreement with the statement, “joining the ICC would compromise America’s sovereignty as a nation.” While these findings are indicative only and should be treated with caution, they do suggest the possibility of a slow shift in American attitudes on US membership in the ICC.
This most recent poll also asked Americans about South Africa’s - an ICC State Party - refusal to arrest Sudan President and ICC fugitive, Omar al-Bashir while in country for an African Union conference. Wanted by the ICC for his alleged role in atrocities committed in Darfur, President al-Bashir’s immunity while in country for a diplomatic conference was the justification given by South Africa for not arresting him. Despite this asserted immunity, a majority of Americans who expressed an opinion believed South Africa should have arrested President al-Bashir. When asked generally about this issue, more than 2 to 1 believed international arrest warrants should trump diplomatic immunity, however the ratio decreased significantly (38% to 32%) for those polled who had some awareness of the ICC.
For more information on the most recent ABA’s ICC Project/Ipsos poll, please visit the polling report.
The American Bar Association’s (ABA) International Criminal Court (ICC) Project is an independent initiative of the ABA Center for Human Rights that advances international criminal justice and US-ICC relations through advocacy, education and practical legal assistance. More information about the ABA’s ICC Project can be found at its website.