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National | Judicial decisions
  • Ashraf Ahmed El Hojouj, 400882/HA ZA 11-2252, 21 March 2012 (decision in Dutch, below)

"A Dutch court has awarded 1m euros ($1.3m; £838,000) in compensation to a Palestinian doctor who was imprisoned in Libya for eight years for allegedly infecting children with HIV/Aids". Souce: BBC

  • Rechtbank 's-Gravenhage, LJN: BS8793, 354119 / HA ZA 09-4171, 14 September 2011 (decision in Dutch)

The District Court of The Hague ruled that the Dutch government must pay damages to one survivor and seven widows of men killed by Dutch troops during a 1947 massacre in Indonesia.

Source: "Netherlands court finds country liable for 1947 Indonesia massacre claims", Jurist, 14 September 2011

  • Gerechtshof's-Gravenhage, LJN: BR0132, 200.020.173/01, 5 July 2011 (decision in Dutch)

The Hague Appeals Court ruled that the Netherlands is liable for the death of three Bosniak men during the Srebrenica massacre forcing it to compensate the men's families. In June 2012, the Government announced plans to appeal the decision.

Source: "Dutch appeals court holds state liable for deaths of 3 Bosniaks at Srebrenica", Jurist, 5 July 2011

  • HN v. Netherlands (Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs) (District Court of The Hague, September 2008); ( Court of Appeal of The Hague, 5 July 2011).

The case concerned whether the Netherlands was responsible under international law for the actions of the Dutch UN contingent (Dutchbat) serving in Srebrenica in 1995 when Bosniaks were massacred by Serbian forces. The court of first instance held, inter alia, that if a state provides armed forces to the UN and places them under the ‘command and control’ of the UN, the actions of those armed forces should be attributed to the UN (§ 4.8). Any acts and omissions of Dutchbat should therefore be attributed to the UN (§ 4.11).

"On 5 July 2011 the Court of Appeal of The Hague held that the state of the Netherlands had acted unlawfully and is liable, under Dutch law, for evicting four Bosnian nationals from the compound of Dutchbat in Srebrenica on 12 July 1995. When not overturned by the Supreme Court, the decisions of the Court of Appeal will stand as groundbreaking rulings on the possibility of dual attribution of conduct to the United Nations (UN) and a troop contributing state". - André Nollkaemper, "Dual Attribution: Liability of the Netherlands for Conduct of Dutchbat in Srebrenica", J Int Criminal Justice (2011) 9(5), pp. 1143-1157

Mothers of Srebrenica et al. v. State of the Netherlands and the United Nations, 10 July 2008 (decision in English)

The case concerned wether the Netherlands and the United Nations were responsible under international law for the crime of genocide that took place in Srebrenica. The court held that the United Nations enjoyed immunity for jurisidiction despite the jus cogens character of the norms prohibitting genocide and torture.

See also the commentary of the case at The Hague Justice Portal

Nuriye Kesbir sought asylum in the Netherlands but was refused on the grounds that, pursuant to article 1F of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, through her knowledge of and membership in the Kurdish Liberation Organisation (PKK) she was suspected of having participated in war crimes and therefore was not deserving of international refugee protection.
The case concerned extradition to Turkey. The defendant, a member of the PKK, claimed that she could not be extradited because the acts she had allegedly committed formed part of a non-international armed conflict and therefore the criminal legislation on the basis of which she would be prosecuted in Turkey would not be applicable. The Supreme Court rejected this argument, declaring that common Article 3 does not prevent a state from extending protection to combatants in domestic legislation. Furthermore, as the acts for which the extradition was sought did not constitute absolute political offences, they could also be qualified as common crimes.
Sebastien N was charged and convicted of complicity under the Netherland's Torture Convention Implementation Act, which allows for prosecution on the basis of the principle of universal jurisdiction. The allegations concerned events in the Democratic Republic of Congo where Sebastien N worked for the civil protection (garde civil).

Last updated: 12 July 2012

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