The Law and Politics of the Kosovo Advisory Opinion

ISBN : 9780198717515

Marko Milanovic; Michael Wood
384 Pages
162 x 240 mm
Pub date
Apr 2015
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This volume is an edited collection of essays on various aspects of the 2010 Kosovo Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. The main theme of the book is the interplay between law and politics regarding Kosovo's independence generally and the advisory opinion specifically. How and why did the Court become the battleground in which Kosovo's independence was to be fought out (or not)? How and why did political arguments in favour of Kosovo's independence (e.g. that Kosovo was a unique, sui generis case which set no precedent for other secessionist territories) change in the formal, legal setting of advisory proceedings before the Court? How and why did states supporting either Kosovo or Serbia choose to frame their arguments? How did the Court perceive them? What did the Court want to achieve, and did it succeed in doing so? And how was the opinion received, and what broader implications did it have so far? These are the questions that the book hopes to shed some light on. To do so, the editors assembled a stellar cast of contributors, many of whom acted as counsel or advisors in the case, as well a number of eminent scholars of politics and international relations whose pieces further enrich the book and give it an interdisciplinary angle. The book thus tells the story of the case, places it within its broader political context, and so attempts to advance our understanding of how such cases are initiated, litigated and decided, and what broader purposes they may or may not serve.


1. Editors' Introduction (Marko Milanovic and Michael Wood)
2. Explaining Serbia's Decision to Go to the ICJ (James Ker-Lindsay)
3. Arguing the Kosovo Case (Marko Milanovic)
4. The Practicalities of Representing a Client in Complex Multiparty Proceedings: The Example of Kosovo (Qudsi Rasheed and Michael Wood)
5. The Settling of a Self-Determination Conflict? Kosovo's Status Process and the 2010 Advisory Opinion of the ICJ (Bernhard Knoll-Tudor)
6. Questions of Jurisdiction and the Discretion to Decline a Request for an Advisory Opinion (Vladimir Djeric)
7. The Question Question (Daniel Muller)
8. Reflections on the ICJ Advisory Opinion on Kosovo: Interpreting Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) (Sean Murphy)
9. The UN Secretary-General and the Advisory Opinion (Mathias Forteau)
10. The Sounds of Silence: Making Sense of the Supposed Gaps in the Kosovo Opinion (Marc Weller)
11. The Court and its Multiple Constituencies: Three Perspectives on the Kosovo Advisory Opinion (Andre Nollkaemper)
12. The Political Aftermath of the ICJ's Kosovo Opinion (Tatjana Papic)
13. Kosovo - The Questions Not Asked: Self-Determination, Secession, and Recognition (Alain Pellet)
14. Kosovo and the Criteria for Statehood in International Law (James Crawford)
15. Has the Advisory Opinion's Finding that Kosovo's Declaration of Independence was not Contrary to International Law Set an Unfortunate Precedent? (Anne Peters)
16. Some Implications of the Advisory Opinion for Resolution of the Serbia-Kosovo Conflict (Richard Caplan and Stefan Wolff)
17. Old Problems, Fresh Frameworks: Kosovo, Serbia and the EU - the Virtue of a 'Free Territory' (James Gow)
18. Reflections on the Law and Politics of the Kosovo Case (Harold Hongju Koh)

About the author: 

Marko Milanovic is Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham School of Law, as well as Vice-President of the European Society of International Law. His first book, Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties: Law, Principles, and Policy, was published by OUP in 2011.; Sir Michael Wood, KCMG, is a member of the United Nations International Law Commission, and a Senior Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge. He was Legal Adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 1999 and 2006. He is the author of, inter alia, The International Law Commission 1999-2009 (with Arnold Pronto).

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