Practice Relating to Rule 150. Reparation
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands, under a provision stating the responsibility of States for violations of IHL committed by members of their armed forces, refers to Article 91 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and provides that “a party to a conflict may be obliged to pay compensation” for violations of IHL.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “If a prisoner of war is not properly treated, the captive may claim payment of compensation from the detaining power.”
The manual further states:
A party to a conflict which breaches the provisions of the Geneva Conventions or AP I [1977 Additional Protocol I] is bound to pay compensation. It is liable for all actions carried out by persons belonging to its armed forces. In principle, this liability applies to those who perpetrated the damage and to any other parties to the conflict. When it violates the conditions of the humanitarian law of war, a party to a conflict may be required to pay compensation. Holding parties liable in this way contributes to compliance with the requirements of the humanitarian law of war.
When in 1996 the question of whether victims of violations of IHL could seek compensation from Japan was raised in the Dutch Parliament, the Government of the Netherlands stated that it could not claim financial compensation from Japan for damage incurred during the occupation of the former Dutch East Indies because of the 1951 Peace Treaty for Japan and the 1956 Yoshida-Stikker Protocol. The government added that its position would be the same even in the event of an individual invoking the international law rules regulating compensation for damage caused by war.
In its judgment in the J.T. case
in 1949 in which an individual had sued the State for repayment of money taken by the police during the arrest of the claimant during the occupation of the Netherlands by the German army, the District Court of The Hague held that the State of the Netherlands must repay the money to the plaintiff. The Court held that it was true that the State was not liable for all acts committed by the resistance movement (Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten
) which had been organized with the consent of the government in exile during the Second World War, but since it was definitely established that the money had come into the hands of the police, restitution had to be made.