Pursuing Justice for MH17: The Role of the Netherlands

  • Marieke de HoonEmail author
Part of the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law book series (NYIL, volume 49)


On 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that set off to fly from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, where an armed conflict took place between Ukrainian armed forces and separatists supported by Russia. This chapter discusses the legal developments around the MH17 crash up to 2018 and what actions the Netherlands has taken and is considering in their pursuit of justice for MH17. In 2018, the Netherlands announced that it holds Russia accountable for its involvement in downing MH17, that it invited Russia to engage in negotiations, and that legal action may follow. Moreover, the Netherlands declared that it is not considering similar action against Ukraine for failing to adequately communicate about the security risks in their airspace unless new evidence would appear. This chapter discusses what those announcements mean, what legal arguments exist against Russia and Ukraine, and what deliberations are relevant for the Netherlands in their consideration whether or not to pursue the judicial path in finding justice for the MH17 victims.


MH17 State responsibility Public international law Civil aviation law Law and politics Accountability 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Law and International Criminal LawVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Public International Law & Policy GroupAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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