The Economist explains in an interesting 8 minutes video the legal options for the MH17 families to bring justice.
Marieke de Hoon, assistent professor at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, explains the legal options.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague is one of the options. It acts as a judge on disputes between states. However ICJ only has jurisdiction over a case if both parties agree. As Russia denies any involvment for the downing of MH17 it is really hard to bring MH17 to justice at ICJ.
The European Court of Human Rights is the second option for justice. According Marieke de Hoon this option looks stronger in terms of jurisdiction as both Russia and the Netherlands are members of the Council of Europe.
De Hoon “the court’s decisions are binding but if States refuse to act on them there is very little in international law that we can do about it. We do not have an international army that can enter Russia in order to make them pay”.