In Defense of a Metaphor: Reply to Shai Dothan’s Critique of Applying the Swiss Cheese Model on Deterrence and the International Criminal Court
iCourts Working Paper Series No. 203
26 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2020 Last revised: 9 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 9, 2020
Shai Dothan rejects my submission that the Swiss cheese model of accident prevention provides a useful framework for a convincing deterrence-based defense of the ICC. I believe that Dothan’s critique is mistaken. Proceeding via a restatement and an expansion of my original argument this paper explains why. First, I outline the original idea of coupling a deterrence-based argument for the ICC to the Swiss cheese model. Second, I outline the core of Dothan’s critique. Third, I elaborate on the Swiss cheese model as it was originally developed in the context of risk analysis and accident prevention. Fourth, I demonstrate the usefulness of this model also in the context of traditional domestic crime prevention. Fifth, I connect these points back to the context of international criminal justice. Finally, I conclude by returning to Dothan’s critique using the previous findings to reject his argument.
Keywords: The International Criminal Court; Deterrence; Crime Prevention; Mass Atrocity; International Criminal Law; International Criminal Justice; Philosophy of Punishment; The 'Swiss Cheese Model'
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