Netherlands International Law Review

, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 279–294 | Cite as

Attributing the Conduct of Dutchbat in Srebrenica: the 2014 Judgment of the District Court in the Mothers of Srebrenica Case

  • Paolo PalchettiEmail author


The question of allocating responsibility for the conduct of Duchbat in Srebrenica is one of the many legal issues raised by the tragic events of July 1995. In the judgment of 16 July 2014 in the Mothers of Srebrenica case—the last in time of a string of decisions rendered by Dutch courts on this issue—the District Court of The Hague attributed to the Netherlands a number of acts taken by Dutchbat prior and after the fall of Srebrenica. The present article aims at assessing the principles of attribution which were relied upon in this judgment. It is submitted that the District Court went too far in attributing certain acts to the sending state but was at the same time too quick in excluding the attribution of other acts. On the whole, and taking more broadly into account all the judgments relating to the massacre in Srebrenica, the impression is that, so far, Dutch courts have gone in the direction of widening the possibility of attributing to the sending state the conduct of a national contingent in peacekeeping missions. The refusal to base attribution on the status of peacekeeping forces as UN organs, the recognition that the state may have effective control even in the absence of instructions to the contingent, and the admission of the possibility of dual attribution are among the main pillars on which the position of Dutch courts rely.


International responsibility Attribution of conduct United Nations Peacekeeping forces Dutchbat Reparation to victims 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MacerataMacerataItaly

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