Tuesday, April 15, 2008

International law experts debate Kosovo independence legality

International law experts debate Kosovo independence legality

Source: VOA Albanian   
Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Kosovo's independence debated
One of the arguments of those who reject the independence of Kosovo is that it violates the international law based on the UN Resolution 1244. However, a group of international law experts who think otherwise is discussing the issue in a conference organized by The American Society of International Law in Washington DC. The legality of the declaration of Kosovo independence on February 17 has been discussed when it occurred, and it is still being discussed in the international debates. However, what effects will this act have in the future of the international law?

The question has been discussed by The American Society of International Law whilst a thorough lecture to this question was given by the internationally well-known lawyer of international law, Richard Goldstone. Mr. Goldstone, who was a former chairman of an investigative committee on Kosovo’s future status in 1999, said “Even at that time when Kosovo future status was being discussed ‘we unanimously recommended the supervised independence for Kosovo’ because we knew there was neither any legality nor any fairness to ask Kosovars to return under the Belgrade rule, after considering the fact how they were heinously treated, mass murdered and ethnically cleansed by Serbia.” The preposition was rejected by Russia which has demanded to preserve the sovereignty of Serbia over Kosovo.  Mr. Goldstone explains that "here is a contradiction because while Russia was demanding to preserve Serbia’s sovereignty over Kosovo, simultaneously Russia was supporting the UN resolution to implement the deployment of the UN administration to run Kosovo."

The resolution 1244, which has become the basic law of the UN mission in Kosovo, was one of the main discussions at the conference. Paul Williams, a professor of the international law at the American University in Washington DC, said that “Resolution 1244 does not preserve the sovereignty of Serbia over Kosovo. If we make a thorough analysis of the UN Resolution 1244, it does not state that the Former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has to be asked or decide over the future status of Kosovo on whether it will be independent or not”, added Paul Williams, a noted professor of international law.

According to Professor Williams, “the declaration of Kosovo independence does not set a precedent, because in the last 15 years we have encountered at least 26 cases of countries that declared independence and became sovereign countries without any agreement with the country they lived under, and the Republic of Kosovo is among them.” John Bollinger, the legal attorney at the US State Department who presented his argument during the discussion said that ”the United States had tried to reach a new resolution over Kosovo but unfortunately it was not possible due to objections from Russia.” He does not agree that Kosovo declared its formal independence in a unilateral way. “This is not a unilateral act but it is a coordinated act by the effort of a large number of countries that worked on achieving this solution, the independence of Kosovo,” added Bollinger, the legal attorney at the US State Department.

The act of Kosovo independence continues to be discussed in various circles. Additionally, one of the experts said that Kosovars will have to work hard to fight all the myths created following the independence of Kosovo. Professor Williams said to VOA that the government of Kosovo should not ignore this debate. “This is a serious debate which the government of Kosovo must participate in a very active way. There are a few myths being created that reject the international recognition of Kosovo independence. Among them is that Resolution 1244 does not permit independence and that the independence is a unilateral act and so forth. All of these are myths, fabricated by the chauvinistic leadership of Serbia that ignores to understand and learn the international law and resolutions,” said Professor Williams.

New Kosova Report - International law experts debate Kosovo independence legality
Blogged with the Flock Browser

No comments: