The International Court of Justice today held that international law did not prohibit Kosovo’s declaration of independence, while sidestepping the larger issue of Kosovo’s statehood. All of the opinions can be found here, but we are happy to host the opinion of the court on this JILP Forum, since the ICJ’s site has been difficult to access as of late.
In a way, as Chris Borgen notes at Opinio Juris, this result should not come as a surprise, since international law generally does not seem to have much to say about declarations of independence. The Court sidesteps the trickier problem of the lex specialis created by S.C. Res. 1244 (and the subsequent Constitutional Framework adopted by UNMIK) by holding that the declaration did not constitute an act of one of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government. This lays the groundwork for the Court to conclude that the declaration essentially took place outside the scope of S.C. Res. 1244 and the framework. Preliminary thoughts after the jump.