Saturday, June 11, 2016

Rossi: Impaled on Morton’s Fork: Kosovo, Crimea, and the Sui Generis Circumstance

Christopher R. Rossi (Univ. of Iowa- Law) has published Impaled on Morton’s Fork: Kosovo, Crimea, and the Sui Generis Circumstance (Emory International Law Review, Vol. 30, no. 3, p. 353, 2016). Here's the abstract:
This Article investigates the problematic invocation of unique circumstances as a justification for circumventing international law relating to the use of force and state secession. Borrowing from the teachings of critical sociology, this Article addresses the lessons learned from NATO’s 1999 intervention in Kosovo and Kosovo’s 2008 Declaration of Independence from Serbia; it adapts those teachings to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Doctrinal, state-sponsored, and international juridical attempts to conform the Kosovo events to the international rule of law mask internal and unreconciled tensions within the United Nations Charter system. These tensions, which threaten to further weaken the system and expose it to dangerous manipulations, have upset international law’s delicate balance between respect for territorial integrity and the right of self-determination. These weaknesses also help explain why two of the most significant doctrinal developments to emerge from the mist of Kosovo—the Responsibility to Protect and remedial secession—have retreated from earlier enthusiastic assessments of their prospects in international law. Embedded in the recourse to the sui generis claim is the cautionary belief that its invocation may likely mask extra-legal intentions as support for international law’s progressive development.