Leiden Journal of International Law

HAGUE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNALS: International Criminal Court and Tribunals

Responsibility of the Netherlands for the Acts of Dutchbat in Nuhanović and Mustafić: The Continuous Quest for a Tangible Meaning for ‘Effective Control’ in the Context of Peacekeeping



In Nuhanović and Mustafić (5 July 2011), the Court of Appeal of The Hague held the Netherlands liable under Bosnian torts law in relation to acts of Dutchbat in the days following the fall of Srebrenica. The claims were brought by relatives of victims killed by Mladić's troops after being evicted from the Dutchbat premises, where they had sought refuge. When resorting to international law to attribute the conduct to the Netherlands, the Court shed light on the concrete meaning of ‘effective control’ when a wrongful conduct does not result from direct orders, thereby clarifying some of the questions surrounding the determination of responsibility for conducts in the framework of international organizations.

Key words

  • attribution;
  • effective control;
  • liability;
  • responsibility;
  • wrongfulness


* PhD candidate, Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam [b.l.boutin@uva.nl].