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2013 | The State of The Netherlands (Appellant) vs Hasan Nuhanovic, Supreme Court of The Netherlands, First Chamber, 12/03324 LZ/TT, September 6 2013

In this truly landmark decision, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands held that the Dutch State was responsible for the deaths of three Muslim men who were sent away from the safety of the Dutchbat compound in Potocari - within the protected Srebrenica enclave - in the very last hours before the closure of the compound and the withdrawal of the Dutch batallion from the scene. The case raised complex questions as to exactly which law should govern international troops in contexts such as these, relating also to the immunity of the UN and to the possible sharing of responsibility between the UN and national military units particpating in UN peace-keeping missions. The Court held that in the very specific circumstances in which the facts of this case were played out, the Dutch ministeries of Defence and Foreign Affairs - and not the UN - were in effective control of their military staff on the ground, and were therefore responsible for its actions.