National Implementation of IHL
The State of Netherlands v. Hasan Nuhanovic, 12/03324, Supreme Court, 06 September 2013
Supreme Court of The Netherlands (last accessed on 30.07.2014)

On 6 September 2013, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands confirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which found the Netherlands responsible for the death of three Bosnian Muslims killed during the Srebrenica massacre.
At the time of their intervention in the former Yugoslavia, the Dutch Battalion of United Nations (UN) peacekeepers (Dutchbat) were assigned to protect the “safe area” of the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica. On 11 July 1995, after the Bosnian Serb armed forces took control of the “safe area”, thousands of Bosnian Muslims sought refuge at the UN compound. On 13 July, while outside the compound men were being killed and abused, the Dutchbat command decided to expel from the compound three Bosnian Muslims, including a UN interpreter. They were subsequently killed in the Srebrenica massacre. The families of these three victims sued the Netherlands for its alleged responsibility for the events.
On 10 September 2008 the District Court of The Hague dismissed the claims, considering that Dutchbat were operating under a UN mandate in Bosnia and did not have the operational command and control of the area, which was in the hands of the UN. However, on 5 July 2011, in an unprecedented ruling, the Court of Appeal overturned this decision, recognizing that in this case, there was dual responsibility between the UN and Dutchbat which implied a shared effective control over the same wrongful conduct. Therefore, the Dutch government was found responsible for what happened to the three Bosnian Muslims. The Supreme Court affirmed this ruling and added that, because of Dutch effective control of the compound, extraterritorial human rights obligations, resulting from the European Convention on Human Rights, were fully binding at the time.

Related laws and/or case law: Constitution, 1815 (as of 2002)

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application/pdf 510 KB Netherlands (the) - The Netherlands v. Hasan Nuhanovic, Supreme Court, 2013 [Eng].pdf