Dr Lenneke Sprik

Lecturer in International Security & International Relations

University of Groningen


As a graduate in Military Law, Lenneke has a specific interest in domestic and international crimes and the rights and duties of the military in this regard. Her research focuses on the domestic and international prosecution of peacekeeping commanders for crimes committed by third actors in a peacekeeping context. In these situations, the question arises whether criminalising bystanders is justified based on current theory and practice in criminal law. The continuous quest for justice on the part of the victims is difficult to balance with reality on the battlefield: raised expectations of protection may be difficult to fulfil.

Before working on this specific topic, Lenneke was involved in research on the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas and the applicable laws.

Research Keywords

International Criminal Law, Comparative Criminal Law (German, UK, Dutch, Belgian), Duties, Protection, Military Law

List of Publications

L. Sprik, ‘VS en Europa, draal niet, intervenieer in C-Afrika’(US and Europe, do not hesitate, intervene in C-Africa), in: De Volkskrant, 20 January 2014.

L. Sprik, ‘Laat Rechter Rol van Dutchbat-leiding toetsen’ (Let the Judge decide on the position of Dutchbat-commanders), in: Trouw, 11 March 2013.

L. Sprik, ‘Zwijgen defensie over opdracht in Srebrenica vergroot twijfel’ (Silence
MoD about instructions in Srebrenica increases doubts), in: Dagblad van het Noorden, 31 December 2011.

L. Sprik, ‘Politiek heeft te weinig zicht op missies’(Politics has little understanding of military operations), in: NRC Handelsblad, 6 June 2011.

L. Sprik, ‘Er valt nog veel te leren ondanks ‘lessons learned’ in Srebrenica’ (There is still much to learn despite lessons learned in Srebrenica), in: Dagblad van het Noorden, 31 May 2011.

Book Reviews

L. Sprik, ‘The Blood telegram : Nixon, Kissinger, and a forgotten genocide by Gary J. Bass’, LSE Review of Books (forthcoming)

L. Sprik, ‘Sierra Leone: A Political History by David Harris’, LSE Review of Books, 15 February 2014, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2014/02/15/book-review-sierra-leone-a-political-history-by-david-harris/

L. Sprik, ‘Humaniteit vs. Militaire noodzaak: een heldere kijk op het humanitair oorlogsrecht’ (Humanity vs. Military necessity: a clear perspective on humanitarian law), in: Internationale spectator, January 2012.

L. Sprik, ‘Civil society organizations and public oversight over the security sector’ in: Western Balkans Security Observer, No. 12, 2009, p.97-100.

Journal Articles & Book Chapters

L. Sprik, ‘Command Responsibility in Peacekeeping Missions: A Comparison Between Humanitarian and Criminal Law Approaches’, to be presented at the Joint ESIL IGPS/SHARES Symposium: ‘The Changing Nature of Peacekeeping: Challenges for Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello and Human Rights’, 3 September 2014, Vienna (Austria). (subsequent publication is forthcoming)

L. Sprik, ‘Military Commanders as Bystanders to International Crimes: a Responsibility to Protect?’ contribution to a forthcoming edited book about the Responsibility to Protect (forthcoming)

R. Boer, L. Sprik and M. Struyk, ‘Explosieve wapens in bevolkte gebieden: humanitair probleem’ (Explosive weapons in populated areas: humanitarian problem) in: Internationale Spectator, No. 6, June 2011, p. 329-331.





Phone Number:
+31 50 36 33300

University of Groningen

University of Groningen
PO Box 72
9700 AB Groningen
the Netherlands

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