In July 1995, units of the Bosnian Serb Army launched an attack on Srebrenica, a town in Eastern Bosnia where many Bosnian Muslims had sought shelter from the violence of the war. The women, children and elderly were evacuated to Bosnian Muslim-held territory. The Bosnian Muslim men, however, were executed. All this happened despite the presence of a UN peacekeeping force, which consisted entirely of Dutch soldiers. The Mothers of Srebrenica, a foundation representing the surviving relatives of those who died, initiated proceedings against the Netherlands and the United Nations before the Dutch courts, holding them responsible for a failure to prevent the genocide. In collaboration with the Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges, Dr. Otto Spijkers and Prof. dr. Cedric Ryngaert will address the attribution of the conduct of the United Nations peacekeeping contingent to the United Nations and the troop-contributing State (The Netherlands).
Mr. dr. Otto Spijkers is Lecturer of Public International Law at Utrecht University, Senior Research Associate with the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS), and researcher with the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL). He is a member of the Committee on the Role of International Law in Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Development of the International Law Association, and guest lecturer for Amnesty International The Hague. He was a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta, the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University, Xiamen University’s China International Water Law Programme (China), the China Institute for Boundary and Ocean Studies of Wuhan University (China), the Law School of the East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL) in Shanghai (China), the Università degli Studi di Salerno (Italy), and the Association pour la promotion des droits de l'homme en Afrique centrale (APDHAC) of the Université Catholique d’Afrique Centrale (Yaoundé, Cameroon). Previously, he was a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at the University of Leiden. His doctoral dissertation, entitled The United Nations, the Evolution of Global Values and International Law, was published with Intersentia in 2011.
Prof. dr. Cedric Ryngaert (1978) is professor of public international law and programme leader of the master public international law. He studied law at Leuven University (2001) and obtained his PhD from the same university in 2007. He subsequently became a lecturer at Utrecht University. Between 2010 and 2013 he carried out research concerning non-state actors on the basis of a subsidy provided by NWO (VENI). Since November 2013 he is heading two research projects concerning jurisdiction, on the basis of subsidies provided by NWO (VIDI) and the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant). In these projects, he examines to what extent states and regional organizations can apply their own legislation beyond their borders with a view to realizing international values. He works on these projects together with 7 PhD students.