Canada won’t participate in ICJ oral debate

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Canada will not be taking part in the oral debate on the legality of Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence at the ICJ.

Although, as a NATO member, Canada took part in the air strikes on the then Yugoslavia in 1999 and subsequently participated in peace building and civilian projects in Kosovo, before recognizing the province’s unilateral independence last year, the country is not expected to take part in the case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Nor is Canada among the 36 countries that earlier submitted testimony in written form to the court. The deadline for all countries wishing to register to take part in the oral debate beginning on December 1 expired yesterday.

The UN and its member-states, together with representatives of the Kosovo authorities, will be able to put forward their own arguments at the debate, regardless of whether or not they have already submitted written testimony.

On October 8 last year, the UN General Assembly adopted a Serbian resolution to bring the question of the legality of Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence before the ICJ.

The court will give a non-binding advisory opinion on the matter. Since its creation in 1946, the ICJ has ruled in 25 bilateral disputes.

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