[Metaculus] Will the International Criminal Court bring charges against Benjamin Netanyahu before 2026?
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Will the International Criminal Court bring charges against Benjamin Netanyahu before 2026?

Resolves the same as the original on Metaculus.


Resolution criteria

This question will resolve Yes if, before January 1, 2026, the International Criminal Court brings charges against Benjamin Netanyahu.

Per the Rome Statute—the founding statute of the ICC—the court may bring charges within the following categories:

  • Genocide

  • Crimes against humanity

  • War crimes

  • Crimes of aggression

  • Offences against the administration of justice

The ICC announcing either an indictment, summons, or an arrest warrant is sufficient for a Yes resolution.

Fine print and additional background information can be found on Metaculus.


Once the original resolves, its resolution will be applied to this market automatically. Trustworthy-ish users are encouraged to resolve this market before then if the outcome is known and unambiguous. Feel free to ping @jskf to request early resolution or to report issues.

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GPT-4o gives low odds that this goes through:

Assigning a precise percentage chance to the likelihood of the ICC successfully obtaining an arrest warrant for the Israeli Prime Minister is inherently speculative and challenging due to the many variables involved. However, considering the political, legal, and diplomatic complexrecognizee probability can be estimated to be quite low.

A rough estimate might place the likelihood in the range of 5-10%. This takes into account the following:

  1. Political Pressure and Diplomatic Relations: High-profile political figures like the Israeli Prime Minister often benefit from significant political support both domestically and internationally, which can influence the ICC's decision-making process.

  2. ICC's Track Record: Historically, the ICC has faced difficulties in securing arrest warrants for sitting heads of state, especially from non-member countries.

  3. Strength of Evidence and Jurisdictional Issues: The strength of the evidence presented and the jurisdictional challenges given Israel's non-membership in the ICC further complicate the matter.

  4. Global Geopolitical Climate: The current geopolitical climate and the level of international support for or against such an action can heavily sway the decision.

While these factors suggest a low probability, it's important to recognize that such estimations are inherently uncertain and subject to change based on evolving circumstances.


Asked about a summons instead:

The likelihood of the ICC issuing an indictment or summons for the Israeli Prime Minister, as opposed to an arrest warrant, is somewhat higher but still fraught with significant challenges. Here are some factors to consider for estimating the probability:

Indictment

An indictment by the ICC would involve formally charging the individual with specific crimes, which is a precursor to a summons or arrest warrant. The process for an indictment still requires strong evidence and legal justification, and it carries significant political implications.

Summons

A summons is a less severe measure than an arrest warrant. It requires the individual to appear before the court voluntarily. While this might be viewed as a more moderate approach, it still presents substantial hurdles:

  1. Jurisdictional Challenges: Like an arrest warrant, an indictment or summons would still face the issue of Israel not being an ICC member state.

  2. Evidence: The strength and robustness of the evidence remain crucial. The ICC judges would need to be convinced that there is sufficient evidence to justify either an indictment or a summons.

  3. International Cooperation: Even a summons requires some level of international cooperation and compliance, and there might be resistance from countries that support Israel.

  4. Political Considerations: While a summons is less severe, it still carries political implications that could impact the decision-making process.

Probability Estimate

Given these factors, the probability of the ICC issuing an indictment or summons is higher than that of an arrest warrant but still relatively low due to the significant political and legal challenges involved. A rough estimate might place the likelihood in the range of 10-20%.

  1. Less Severe Action: A summons being less severe than an arrest warrant might be seen as a more viable option by the ICC judges, especially if there is substantial evidence.

  2. Political and Diplomatic Ramifications: While still significant, the political ramifications of a summons are somewhat less severe than those of an arrest warrant.

  3. Precedents and Legal Framework: The ICC has issued summonses before, and this could be seen as a more pragmatic step in pursuing accountability without immediately resorting to more drastic measures like arrest warrants.

While the exact percentage is speculative, these factors suggest a slightly higher but still challenging probability for an indictment or summons.

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