Research Projects Contact Information

The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
Faculty of Law
P.O. BOX 4 (visiting address: Yliopistonkatu 3)
Tel: +358 (0)29 4123140


Legality of Kosovo Declaration of Independence in International Law

On 17 th of February 2008, the Kosovo Assembly declared independence from Serbia.
On 8 th of October, the UN General Assembly – through a Serbian initiative – asked for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice concerning the legality of Kosovo's independence. Its inquiry stated: “Is the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo in accordance with international law?”

The aim of the project was to focus on the main legal aspects concerning Kosovo's secession in light of the aforementioned question. The research analysed Kosovo's declaration of independence in light of the right to self-determination and territorial integrity and assess whether it has the effect of endowing Kosovo with statehood. It also focused on the role of the international community and, particularly, on UNSC Resolution 1244(1999). Finally, it assessed to what extent both the ambiguity of the Resolution and Security Council's inability to act as well as the need to find a peaceful solution by diplomacy, can be seen as guiding the status of Kosovo.

The project was granted funding by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Researcher: LL.M. Magdalena Kmak

Duration: 1.2-30.6.2009