Thursday, July 22, 2010
International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled Kosova’s Declaration of Independence did not violate international law
World court: Kosovo's independence was legal
Posted on July 22, 2010 at 9:04 AM
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The United Nations' highest court says Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia did not break international law.
The nonbinding opinion sets the stage for a renewed push by Kosovo for further international recognition of its independence.
Reading the opinion Thursday, International Court of Justice President Hisashi Owada said international law contains no "prohibition on declarations of independence."
"International law does not have an active provision that limits independence declarations, therefore Kosovo's declaration of independence is not in breach of international law," the court president, Hisashi Owada of Japan, said.
The top UN court stated that it focused on the specific question received from the UN General Assembly, and did not discuss the right to self-determination or secession.
The judge also said that the UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which ended the war in Kosovo in 1999, and which Belgrade sees as a guarantee of the country's territorial integrity, contained no arguments to prevent the unilateral proclamation, as its purpose was to establish a temporary administration, without intent to decide on Kosovo's final status.
It was also announced that ten out of 14 judges voted in favor of the ruling.
The opinion is based on the UN General Assembly’s demand submitted on October 2008 after a resolution was adopted to forward the question to the ICJ, on Serbia's demand.
Officials from Belgrade and Priština were in attendance, along with ambassadors from all the countries that participated in the public debate of the issue.
While the advisory opinion is not binding for states, experts believe it would carry "great legal, political, and moral weight".
Kosovo sparked sharp debate worldwide when it seceded from Serbia in 2008, following a bloody 1998-99 war and nearly a decade of international administration.
Kosovo's statehood has been recognized by 69 countries, including the United States and most European Union nations. Serbia and Russia lead a handful of others in staunchly condemning it.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 10:02 AM