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  • Author or Editor: Otto Spijkers x
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The Srebrenica genocide has come before three different courts in The Hague, the Netherlands. The International Court of Justice looked at the responsibility of the Republic of Serbia; the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia looked at the responsibility of certain individuals. No court has as yet dealt with the responsibility of the United Nations ('UN') itself. Ten relatives of victims of the genocide and a foundation called the Mothers of Srebrenica believed this to be a role for the judges of the District Court in The Hague. However, on 10 July 2008, the Dutch Court affirmed the UN's immunity and declared it had no jurisdiction to hear the action against it. This article discusses that judgment. It will look at the applicable immunity provisions, i.e. Article 105 of the UN Charter and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, their conceptual foundation (the doctrine of functional necessity), and the role of the Dutch Court in interpreting and applying these provisions. It will also look at a possible clash between respect for the absolute immunity of the UN and other legal obligations for the Netherlands, including those under the Genocide Convention, and the European Convention on Human Rights.

In: Journal of International Peacekeeping
In: European Populism and Human Rights
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This article looks at ways in which the principle of intergenerational equity is applied in existing international and domestic water law. The international and domestic regulations and policies referred to in this article have been selected because they contain interesting ideas on how to give meaning to intergenerational equity in the framework of water law. They are to be considered best practices, and thus do not necessarily paint a representative picture of the current state of water law. Most water laws pay much less attention to intergenerational equity than the examples referred to in this paper. After a brief introduction to the principle of intergenerational equity in international (environmental) law, this paper zooms in on the role of the same principle in the general framework of international water law. It explores some examples of agreements regulating the shared use of a particular watercourse, and looks to examples of the principle’s application in domestic water law. Finally, the paper examines domestic policies which aim to apply the intergenerational equity principle to water law and offers a few general concluding remarks.

In: Intergenerational Equity
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On the 6th of June 2016, the Republic of Chile initiated proceedings against the Plurinational State of Bolivia before the International Court of Justice, to settle a dispute concerning the status and use of the waters of the Silala. This paper analyses the participatory rights of local actors in the governance of the Silala, and how these rights are affected on the ground by the politically tense situation between the two states, which has led to a certain degree of politicization of the dispute.

In: New Zealand Yearbook of International Law
In: Furthering the Frontiers of International Law: Sovereignty, Human Rights, Sustainable Development
In: What's Wrong with International Law?
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This article compares the recent judgment of the District Court in The Hague in the case of the Mothers of Srebrenica Association et al. v. the Netherlands (“Mothers of Srebrenica”) with the judgments of the Dutch Supreme Court of last year in the cases of Mustafić and Nuhanović v. the State of the Netherlands. In both cases the Dutch courts had to address the question of attribution—can you attribute the acts of the Dutch un peacekeepers to the Netherlands? And the Dutch courts needed to assess the wrongfulness of the conduct of the Dutch peacekeepers.

In: Journal of International Peacekeeping
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The United Nations has been engaged in peacekeeping in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the period of the country’s independence. First it was the Opération des Nations Unies au Congo (onuc), then the Mission de l’Organisation des Nations Unies au Congo (monuc), and the most recent un peacekeeping force is called Mission de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation au Congo (monusco). Most recently, monusco acquired a Force Intervention Brigade (fib). In this contribution, an analysis is made of how the bedrock principles of peacekeeping – impartiality, consent, and a restricted use of force – have evolved in the Congo. To do so, the journey begins in the 1960s, and ends in early 2015. For each principle, we will look at its traditional meaning, as well as its application to onuc, monuc, and monusco with its Force Intervention Brigade.

In: Journal of International Peacekeeping