W&L Law Students Contribute to First Scholarly Analysis of World Court Kosovo Decision

Lexington, VA Monday, August 30, 2010

Cristina Hoss, World Court Legal Officer, will speak at W&L Aug. 31 via conference call.
With the help of W&L student editors, the German Law Journal has just published a special issue devoted to the International Court of Justice's Advisory Opinion on the legality of the Kosovo declaration of independence.  The World Court's opinion was issued in July, and the German Law Journal's survey is thought to be the first in-depth scholarly reaction. 

The special issue includes an essay from W&L law professor Jim Moliterno and a case note from second-year W&L law students Hanna Jamar and Mary Katherine Vigness.  Other contributions come from commentators around the world, including several from the Balkans region.
The decision, in which the Court held that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate international law, might have significant political consequences in a part of the world that has undergone radical and often bloody change since the post-Cold War break-up of Yugoslavia.  Serbia, with the support of Russia, hotly disputes Kosovo's move to independence and the slow but steady stream of countries recognizing Kosovo as an independent State.

"It's was very interesting to explore how other separatists regions are latching on to this decision and how major players like Russia, China and Spain are trying to dissuade them," said Jamar '12L. "This was also an amazing opportunity to publish alongside some of the recognized experts in this field."

Vigness agreed with Jamar, adding, "The advisory opinion is largely speculative at this point but is nevertheless important to the development of international law."
The German Law Journal student editors and others will discuss the advisory opinion with Dr. Cristina Hoss, a long-serving Legal Officer at the World Court, during a session in Lewis Hall Classroom B at 4:00 p.m on. Tuesday, Aug. 31. Dr. Hoss will appear by telephone conference from the Court's home in The Hague. The W&L community is invited to attend the session.

Before joining the ICJ staff in 2005, Dr. Hoss was a Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg, Germany.  Dr. Hoss earned her Masters and Ph.D. in law from the University of Paris II.

The German Law Journal is the first English-language legal periodical to comment on developments in German, European and international jurisprudence. The Journal, co-edited by W&L law professor Russell A. Miller with the help of W&L law students, is the leading peer-reviewed, online law review in the world. The Journal's treatment of comparative and international law attracts more than two million site visits from more than 50 countries each year.

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