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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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Arguing the Kosovo‎ Case

Arguing the Kosovo‎ Case

(p.21) 3 Arguing the Kosovo‎ Case
The Law and Politics of the Kosovo Advisory Opinion

Marko Milanovic

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at how the Kosovo case was argued by the parties appearing before the International Court of Justice. The chapter examines the discursive shift that transpired once the issue of Kosovo’s independence moved from the political arena to the judicial one. Some previously deployed arguments had to be dropped, others transformed, and yet others invented purely for the sake of the advisory proceedings. For instance, the frequent assertion of the supporters of Kosovo’s independence that Kosovo was a special, sui generis case had to be reframed before the Court in order to be truly persuasive, while the territorial integrity and self-determination principles ultimately proved of little relevance. This chapter therefore aims to observe the evolution of the argumentative strategies of the parties and to establish the driving factors of this evolution, to understand not what the Court decided, but how and why it got there.

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

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