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Today in legal history...

Friday, July 22, 2011

ICJ ruled Kosovo independence declaration not illegal
Dwyer Arce at 12:00 AM ET

On July 22, 2010, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia did not violate international law. Serbia had argued that UN Resolution 1244, which ended the war in Kosovo, solidified the country's boundaries, which included the southern region of Kosovo. Kosovo argued that the resolution was not meant to exclude the opportunity for secession. ICJ President Hisashi Owada read the opinion of the court, stating that nothing in international law prohibits a unilateral declaration of independence. Serbia was backed by a majority of UN countries, including Russia, China and Spain, but Kosovo has consistently been supported by the US and most European countries. Serbian President Boris Tadic maintained that Serbia will not recognize Kosovo's independence, claiming the ICJ ruling was limited only to the question of whether the declaration itself violated international law, and not whether the secession was legal.

ICJ seal

Learn more about the ICJ and Kosovo from the JURIST news archive.

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