Source: (2008) Chicago-Kent Law Review. 83(1): 329-365.

While deterrence may lend support to doctrines of responsibility that are insensitive to the degree of personal guilt, the insensitivity could make more difficult the acceptance of courts' decisions in communities affected by international crime, reducing their educative impact. ... Despite this disappointment, however, general deterrence, along with retribution, is still assigned a prominent place in discussions about the goals of international punishment. ... Consider that even if international criminal judges have no transcending ambitions to make contextual determinations, the contextual elements in the definition of international crimes can raise issues of great complexity: events involving a range of conduct of many people - often over wide areas and over considerable time periods - must be determined. ... But the cost and complexity of the undertaking is not the only reason for doubting the wisdom of attempting to use criminal proceedings to provide a comprehensive portrayal of events surrounding massive human rights violations. ... But this enlarged role of victims, even if properly controlled by the court, clashes with incentives needed to maintain the vitality of bipolar trials. ... There are two main reasons why it is questionable to accord deterrence pride of place among the objectives of international criminal courts. ... The doctrine provides that persons who designed a plan, or exhibited a common purpose, that amounts to (or merely involves) the commission of an international crime are responsible as perpetrators of crimes committed in execution of this plan or purpose, provided that they engage in some act which - although not criminal by itself - can be interpreted as a contribution to the ultimate crime. ... To begin with, it is not clear that individuals in leadership positions would escape scot-free from the grasp of justice if liability doctrines were made more precise, and their reach narrowed to accord with common understanding of culpability. (Excerpt).