Archive for July, 2011

A responsibility to care


Working on a contract in the UK means, on a day like today that is my day off, I get access to UK media, some of which I do not see at home. So I read in the Times that the Dutch Government has been ordered by the courts in the Netherlands to pay damages to the survivors, for sending other members of their family to their deaths in Srebrenica. There have been comments about the trials at the Hague as being victors justice. The victors taking action against the people ultimately on the losing side.

The judgement reported today puts the lie to this. It shows that the issue about what happened in the Balkans in the 1990’s was about the duty of the international community to care for the people living there and their responsibility for what happened. This is a reinforcement from the Dutch courts that people acting as peace keepers have a duty to the people they are supposed to be protecting. It means that getting the UN to send peace keepers stops being the easy option it was in the past and makes interventions like those in Lybia more likely in the future, thankfully.

It also makes me wonder if Major, Rifkind and Hurd are more likely to be at the Hague facing charges at the International Criminal Court than a more recent Prime Minister?

%d bloggers like this: