"Newborn". Kosovos secession: sui generis case or new doctrine on self-determination?

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Grayeb Munayer, Jorge Alberto
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Kosovo’s secession has been treated as a sui generis case by States and many scholars. This contribution argues that instead of an exception, Kosovo should be taken as the contemporary example to advance the legal and political understanding of selfdetermination and secession in the post-decolonisation era. For instance, the ICJ could positively contribute to the latter through a progressive interpretation on its advisory opinion on Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. Even if the legal implications of Kosovo’s secession can be more easily limited by States, its political subjectivity might contain a spill over effect difficult to contain. In that sense, Kosovo has a precedent-setting potential that should not be neglected. Kosovo’s independence could push for the extension of the right to selfdetermination (with the possibility of secession) even for minority groups in democratic contexts. It has contributed to reopen the debate on secession particularly at European level. For countries like Spain, the precedent-setting potential of Kosovo’s secession could disentangle obsolete debates, for example, in the Basque context. It could favour the development of innovative strategies to address claims for self-determination from less dogmatised perspectives.
Second semester University: University of Deusto, Bilbao
international status, Kosovo, state-building, self-determination