Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Scotland & Kosovo

The Guardian argues how a possible supervised independence for Serbia’s Province of Kosovo might play the role of a precedent in other cases such as Scotland for example. The Guardian writes, “The breakaway British region of Scotland could be among the beneficiaries of this week's expected UN recommendation that Kosovo be granted provisional independence from Serbia, leading in time to full sovereign status. If the plan backed by the US, Britain and Germany is formally accepted by the UN Security Council, it will be taken as an important international legal precedent by would-be separatist movements from Georgia to Moldova to Chechnya, and possibly also the Scottish National party.” For more information read here.


Euan MacDonald said...

The basic point - that imposing an independent Kosovo on Serbia is a dangerous precedent for the UN to set - is a serious one, although it has been dealt with in much more detail, not to mention significantly more coherently, by a number of others (including, I believe, yourself, Srdj). However, the link to Scotland looks spurious in the extreme.

Barring the fact that both "provinces" have some sort of secession debate happening at the moment, there are practically no similarities at all between the two situations. There is simply nothing, either in this article or anywhere else, to suggest that Anglo-Scots relations are likely to deteriorate to anything like the degree necessary for the precedential effect of the likely Kosovo settlement to be activated.

In my view, by far the more accurate comparison for the Scottish case is the Quebec/ Canada situation, and the rightly famous Canadian Supreme Court judgment remains the dominant authority for the legality of such secessions.

Srdjan Cvijic said...

I am not sure however that the deterioration of relations plays a role in the legal sense and that you can use it as a criterion to decide whether one situation matches another one. Having said that, the purpose of my blog was purely informative, I was definetly not seconding the arguments from the article in the Guardian, although I agree with some of them.

Anonymous said...

That M. Ahtisaari will propose limited independence of Kosovo under remaining international supervision is almost certain. Apart from that nothing is certain anymore yet again in those part of Balkans. Following the expected results at Serbian elections, fierce reactions can be expected from Belgrade authorities to Athisaari’s proposal granting independence to Kosovo. Voices can be heard from Serbian Republic in Bosnia which threaten with its independence in case that international community grants independence to Kosovo. Recent resignation of EU special representative in Sarajevo just confirms that something is cooking in Balkan pot. As it has been proven many times in last two centuries, the key to stability of Balkans, lies in maintaining stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Srdjan Cvijic said...

Interesting claim Jernej, I myself did not know well how to interpret the resignation of the HR in BiH. Maybe you want to elaborate more on your comment. If you wish we can publish it as the actual post, it is enough to send it to me via e-mail or as an alternative you can post it as a comment to this blog entry and I will publish it myself for you?