8 July 2011
Dual attribution: liability of the Netherlands for removal of individuals from the compound of Dutchbat
On 5 July 2011, the Court of Appeal of the Hague decided that the State of the Netherlands had acted unlawfully and is liable for evicting Bosnian nationals from the compound of Dutchbat in Srebrenica on 12 July 1995. Ibro Nuhanovic, Muhamed Nuhanovic, Nasiha Nuhanovic and Rizo Mustafic were subsequently killed by Bosnian Serbs, as part of what the ICTY and the ICJ later found to be acts of genocide.
The decision adds another chapter to the tortuous attempt of the Netherlands to cope with its multiple failures, with dramatic consequences, in its policies and decisions regarding the conduct of Dutch peacekeeping troops in Srebrenica in 1995, In 2002, the Government of then prime minister Wim Kok resigned after a report held it partly to blame for the failure to offer protection in Srebenica. At the time, Kok said that he accepted political, but no legal responsibility. Almost ten years later, the Court of Appeal has made clear that the responsibility is not only political, but that the Dutch policy in regard of Srebrenica also has engaged its legal liability. (more…)