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The Law and Politics of the Kosovo Advisory Opinion$
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Marko Milanovic and Michael Wood

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717515

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717515.001.0001

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The Sounds of Silence

The Sounds of Silence

Making Sense of the Supposed Gaps in the Kosovo‎ Opinion

Chapter:
(p.187) 10 The Sounds of Silence
Source:
The Law and Politics of the Kosovo Advisory Opinion
Author(s):

Marc Weller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717515.003.0010

The International Court of Justice has been criticized for having left important gaps in its Kosovo advisory opinion. This chapter considers three types of gap: issues on which the Court pronounced without much explanation; issues raised by the Court but left unaddressed; and issues ignored altogether by the Court. It argues that the Court has in fact advanced doctrine in relation to some of the issues it addressed, however briefly. It finds that the other supposed gaps in the Court’s opinion can be filled in by doctrine based on recent practice in a way that leads to the construction of a realistic and persuasive understanding of self-determination and secession outside the colonial context. The Court rightly avoided the temptation of making additional observations that might have impacted negatively on the evolving law in this area as occurred, for instance, in the Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion.

Keywords:   Kosovo, International Court of Justice, advisory opinion, secession, statehood, self-determination, recognition

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