Mothers of Srebrenica cannot sue UN for compensatory damages 30 Mar 2010
The Court of Appeal in The Hague has upheld a decision on the immunity of the United Nations.

On 30 March 2010 the Court of Appeal in The Hague ruled on whether a group named ‘Mothers of Srebrenica’ could sue the United Nations before the Dutch Courts. The court held that it does not have jurisdiction to hear the case on damages. The decision upholds a 2008 ruling by the District Court of The Hague which held that the United Nations has immunity from prosecution pursuant to international conventions.

The group ‘Mothers of Srebrenica’ represents around 6000 surviving relatives of men and boys who were victims of the Srebrenica massacre which took place in Eastern Bosnia in 1995. Serb forces overran the Srebrenica enclave in Bosnia despite the presence of Dutch U.N. peacekeepers. Mothers of Srebrenica claims that the United Nations and the government of the Netherlands failed to prevent genocide, and are therefore liable for compensatory damages.

The court acknowledged the suffering of the victims, but ruled that the interest of the United Nations must prevail. This is because the UN has a ‘special position’ in acting in difficult areas around the world by providing peacekeeping and other missions to ensure peace and security. The court held that the UN’s immunity from prosecution guarantees that it is not prevented from undertaking its duties due to court proceedings against it.

Lawyers for the families have stated that they make take the case to the Dutch Supreme Court or to the European Court of Justice.

Page Tools
Share |