27 June 2012

The Netherlands to appeal judgments on their responsibility for three death in Srebrenica

On 26 June 2012, the State of the Netherlands announced it will appeal the decisions of The Hague Court of Appeal of 5 July 2011 in the cases of Mustafić and Nuhanović (LJN: BR5386 and  BR5388).

In July 2011, the Court of Appeal of The Hague held the Dutch State responsible for the death of three Bosnian-Muslim men, who were killed by Bosnian-Serb troops after having being sent away from UNPROFOR facilities in Srebrenica. Reversing the 2008 first instance decisions (LJN: BF0181 and BF0182), the Court of Appeal considered the acts of Dutchbat to be attributable to the Netherlands under the test of ‘effective control’ enshrined in Article 7 ARIO (See: André Nollkaemper, ‘Dual attribution: liability of the Netherlands for removal of individuals from the compound of Dutchbat’, SHARES blog, 8 July 2011).

The Netherlands maintains the position that the United Nations — rather than the Dutch State — are responsible for the death of Rizo Mustafic, Ibro Nuhanović and Muhamed Nuhanović. It argues that, because the Dutch troops were acting under the command of the UN, the wrongful conducts ought to be attributed to the UN. The appeal will now be argued before the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.

As underlined by the victims lawyer, if the Supreme Court was to find the UN and not the Netherlands responsible, the victims relatives would be left with no remedies given the immunity of the UN.

Further analysis:

  • André Nollkaemper, ‘Dual attribution: liability of the Netherlands for conduct of Dutchbat in Srebrenica’, 9(5) Journal of International Criminal Justice (2011), 1143 [link]; available on SSRN
  • Bérénice Boutin ‘Responsibility of the Netherlands for the Acts of Dutchbat in Nuhanović and Mustafić: The Continuous Quest for a Tangible Meaning for ‘Effective Control’ in the Context of Peacekeeping’, 25(2) Leiden Journal of International Law (2012), 521 [link]

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Source: DutchNews.nl | Dutch state to appeal against Srebrenica liability ruling
Source: NRC | Staat in cassatie tegen uitspraak Srebrenica-zaak

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