Netherlands’ highest court finds Dutch state liable in 1995 Srebrenica massacre

Diane Marie Amann

sctIn 2 judgments issued today, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled that the Dutch state, whose troops withdrew from the U.N.-designated “safe area” of Srebrenica amid a Bosnian Serb attack, is liable for the deaths of 3 men whom the retreating troops left behind. The 3 victims were among thousands of Muslim boys and men massacred at Srebrenica in mid-July 1995. (Prior posts on Srebrenica here and here.)

As stated in the court’s English-language summary of the judgments:

‘The men had sought refuge in the compound of the Dutch battalion (Dutchbat). Dutchbat decided not to evacuate them along with the battalion and instead sent them away from the compound on 13 July 1995. Outside the compound they were murdered by the Bosnian-Serb army or related paramilitary groups.’

The questions before the high court were whether the Dutch battalion’s actions could be attributed to the Dutch state, and…

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