The Kosovo Advisory Opinion Scrutinized

24 (2) Leiden Journal of International Law (2011)

37 Pages Posted: 15 May 2012

See all articles by Jure Vidmar

Jure Vidmar

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 15, 2011


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.

Suggested Citation

Vidmar, Jure, The Kosovo Advisory Opinion Scrutinized (January 15, 2011). 24 (2) Leiden Journal of International Law (2011), Available at SSRN:

Jure Vidmar (Contact Author)

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200

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