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ICJ finds that Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence not in Violation of International Law

The International Court of Justice has held that the declaration of independence by Kosovo is not in violation of international law.  Despite what is likely to be said in the media, this opinion is rather narrow. The Court has not ruled that Kosovo is (or is not a State) nor has it ruled that it is lawful (or unlawful) for States to recognise the independence of Kosovo. All that the Court has said is that international law does not prohibit the people of Kosovo (or their representatives) from declaring independence. I suppose this is of some relevance to other people aspiring for independence as it indicates that international law does not prevent a minority from trying to achieve independence - by means of a verbal declaration. I doubt that this is in any way controversial but just to have the ICJ say this gives a political boost to those aspiring for independence. So in this sense, the opinion is a victory for Kosovo.  As Marko stated in his excellent preview (which is still worth reading as it captures really well the issues…

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Kosovo Advisory Opinion Preview

Editor's Note: This is a featured post. Newer posts, including those in our online symposium on The Constitutionalization of International Law, appear below The ICJ has now officially announced that it will deliver its advisory opinion in the Kosovo case on 22 July. This essay/post is intended to serve as a preview of…

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Reflections on self-determination, and the status of Kosovo in light of the Report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia

Zoran Oklopcic is Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Carleton University, Ottawa Editor's Note: This post is part of a series discussing the the Report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia. Other posts in this series include Gazzini, "Criteria for…

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