Nuhanovic Foundation

Reparations Database

The Netherlands Supreme Court, Mothers of Srebrenca vs The State of the Netherlands





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This decision represents the final stage in the efforts of the Mothers of Srebrenica to obtain reparations before a Dutch court for the death of 350 Bosniak men and boys, killed in Srebrenica in 1995. See the decisions of the Dutch District court (The Hague 2014) and Appeals court (2017) elsewhere on this website.

Having initially been awarded full reparations by the District Court, the degree of responsibility for which the Dutch State was held liable was reduced to 30% by the Appeals Court and now to only 10% by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court judges once again attempt to assess the degree of responsibility of the Dutch State by considering what chance the Bosniak men might have had of escaping abuse and death, if the Dutch battalion protecting them had not released them from its compound into the hands of the Bosnian Serb army. Concluding that, under the circumstances, their chance of survival would have been very slight even if they had been allowed to stay in the compound, the court decided that only 10% of the responsibility for their deaths could be attributed to the Dutch State.

The Mothers of Srebrenica have let it be known that they are considering whether to take the case further to the European Court of Human Rights.

Implementing the Supreme Court’s judgment, the Dutch State announced on 17 December 2020 that as from 1 March 2021 the relatives of the 350 murdered Bosniaks can make use of an out-of-court settlement. The arrangement covers both material and immaterial damages and contains fixed compensation amounts: € 15,000 for widows and € 10,000 for next of kin. Acceptance precludes subsequent damages claims in civil procedures against the Dutch State.

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