The Kosovo Advisory Opinion Scrutinized

Jure Vidmar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Abstract In the Kosovo Advisory Opinion, the International Court of Justice took the position that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence did not violate any applicable rules of international law. This article does not dispute the final finding, but rather critically examines the Court's somewhat controversial reasoning and considers the added value of the opinion for the clarification of legal doctrine in relation to unilateral declarations of independence. An argument is made that the Court's interpretation of the question and the identification of the authors of the declaration had significant implications for the Court's final finding. Yet, the Court cannot be criticized for not answering the question of whether or not Kosovo is a state, whether Kosovo Albanians are beneficiaries of the right of self-determination, or even whether the ?right to remedial secession? is applicable. However, the Court may well have implicitly answered that recognition of Kosovo is not illegal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-383
JournalLeiden Journal of International Law
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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