DID YOU KNOW?  -- Three years before the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Serbs torched Bosniak villages and killed at least 3,166 Bosniaks around Srebrenica. In 1993, the UN described the besieged situation in Srebrenica as a "slow-motion process of genocide." In July 1995, Serbs forcibly expelled 25,000 Bosniaks, brutally raped many women and girls, and systematically killed 8,000+ men and boys (DNA confirmed).

30 March, 2010


"The U.N. immunity from prosecution is absolute."

Forensic anthropologists Ewa Klonowski (right) and Piotr Drukier examine the partially preserved hands of a teenage boy, found in a mass grave of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. Photo by Sara Terry.

In the civil proceedings brought against the Dutch State and the United Nations by the 6,000 family members and relatives of the genocide victims in Srebrenica (also known as the “Mothers of Srebrenica”), the Court of Appeals (Gerechtshof) in The Hague today ruled that the United Nations’ immunity from prosecution is absolute. Remarkably, the Court decided not to submit the issue of the UN’s immunity to the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg.

It is a fundamental question whether the UN enjoys absolute immunity because such immunity immediately touches upon human rights enshrined within the legal order of the European Union. One of these fundamental human rights is the right of access to a court and to effective legal remedies. The decision whether the UN’s immunity should prevail above such fundamental rights ultimately lies with the European Court of Justice. The UN has repeatedly stated to be bound to human rights, but apparently deems itself not bound in this particular matter and has not even appeared in the proceedings. The political question remains: How long can the UN retain its credibility, striving to protect human rights but at the same time disregarding them itself?

The Mothers of Srebrenica will initiate appeal proceedings before the Supreme Court of The Netherlands against the ruling of the Court in the Hague and will in that context once again request submission of the aforementioned question to the European Court of Justice.

The Mothers of Srebrenica will continue their battle for justice.

For more information:
Please visit the official web site of
Van Diepen Van Der Kroef law firm representing the victims of the Srebrenica genocide. Related: Judge Goran Sluiter was also advisor to Radovan Karadzic!