27 June 2012
The Netherlands to appeal judgments on their responsibility for three death in Srebrenica
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.
- 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]