ICJ to announce opinion on Kosovo today

The International Court of Justice is to deliver its much anticipated advisory opinion on the legality of Kosovo’s declaration of independence today at 3pm.

After Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians declared unilateral independence in February 2008, Serbia, which bitterly opposes the independence declaration, took the case to the International Court of Justice, ICJ. Hearings in the case lasted from December 1 to 11, 2009, and the court announced that it will deliver its non-binding advisory opinion today.

Pristina has said it believes that the top UN court will rule in its favour, while Belgrade has indicated that it is convinced that the opinion will support Serbia’s position.

Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu has expressed his expectation that the court will support arguments in favour of the country’s independence.

“The court will, with the arguments that are presented, give an opinion that will open up new processes in this important story, which has been a joint project with the international community,” Sejdiu said.

He went on to say that independence is an irreversible process and reiterated that Kosovo has been recognized by 69 countries.

Meanwhile, Serbian President Boris Tadic said he expected the ICJ opinion to be fair and in accordance with international law.

“If the opinion of the International Court of Justice established a new principle, it would open the process of creating new states all over the globe, which would destabilize many regions of the world,” Tadic told reporters in Zrenjanin on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, international law experts have said that the opinion will be carefully formulated and that there will likely be no clear winner or loser in the case.

Both Belgrade and Pristina are preparing celebrations for tomorrow. While the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, has announced prayer services today in all the Orthodox churches in the country, residents of Pristina will enjoy fireworks.

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