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Does the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo conform to the international law?

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The unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo on February 17, 2008, has deeply divided the international community. Several states, including France, immediately recognized its independence. At present, fifty-five states have given their recognition. Others, however, have expressed serious reservations about it and have even claimed that the declaration of independence was illegal. This controversy led the United Nations General Assembly to note the various reactions from the members of the United Nations. It questioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo with international law, in a resolution adopted on October 8, 2008.

The ICJ stated that, in July 2009, it would undermine the public discussion on this subject in December. This suggests that it will not make any opinion for several months. It will give the answer in all cases crucial in the evolution of the concept of "self-determination."This means the possibility for every people to choose its political system and determine itself the question of independence. The hitherto has been reserved only for former colonized peoples. Prevailing in it, Kosovo has either established a precedent that states could later claim, which is not without risk, or violated international law.

In an attempt to further analyze this issue, it should be noted first of all nature and the exact purpose of the resolution of the General Assembly requesting the advisory opinion of the ICJ (I), before studying to what extent the principle of self can be applied in Kosovo (II), and what are the doubts that may be issued on its unilateral declaration of independence (III).

Tags: International Court of Justice, General Assembly, Kosovo

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