Thursday, July 22, 2010

New flash: Kosovo a state independent, per International Court of Justice

[FINAL UPDATE 8:42 p.m. EDT:] Now on the ICJ website is a pdf of the 40-plus-page Advisory Opinion on Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo.
Voting on the ultimate opinion, that Kosovo's February 17, 2008, declaration of independence did not violate international law:
In favor:
ICJ President Hisashi Owada (Japan), as well as Judges Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh (Jordan), Thomas Buergenthal (United States), Bruno Simma (Germany), Ronny Abraham (France), Kenneth Keith (New Zealand), Bernardo Sepúlveda-Amor (Mexico), Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (Brazil), Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia), and Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom).
Against:
ICJ Vice-President Peter Tomka (Slovakia), as well as Judges Abdul G. Koroma (Sierra Leone), Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco), and Leonid Skotnikov (Russia).
Therein lies a rub.

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[UPDATE 3 p.m. EDT:] Per this article, the 10-4 ICJ ruling did not go so far as to declare Kosovo a state:
[L]egal experts emphasized that while the court had ruled that Kosovo’s declaration of independence was legal, it had scrupulously avoided saying that the state of Kosovo was legal under international law, a narrow and carefully calibrated compromise that they said could allow both sides to declare victory in a dispute that remains raw even 11 years after the war there.
Website still inaccessible.

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[1:04 p.m. original post:] So says this article respecting a just-issued Advisory Opinion on Kosovo, formerly a province of Serbia. Perhaps not surprisingly, the International Court of Justice website's overfull. More later.

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