What is it about?

The disputes arising from watershed political questions touching state sovereignty, the territory's organization, and nation-building concerns should be resolved by politically accountable government branches and not the judiciary. Based on the court decisions, including the rulings of the International Court of Justice, the Serbian Constitutional Court, and the Constitutional Court of Kosovo, I have shown that judicial interventions in the Kosovo dispute did not prevent, to paraphrase Jefferson, the dead hand of the past to loosen its grip on the living present. On the contrary, the narratives both in Belgrade and Pristina remained the same, making conflict resolution much farther away than ever before.

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Why is it important?

Studies analyzing the propriety of Kosovo conflict judicialization, which would approach the dispute from the political question doctrine, are notably missing, even though the effects of judicial decisions are rather modest: judicial interventions have neither contributed to resolving the conflict nor influenced political leaders to change their initial positions.


I hope this article will bring the political question doctrine back to the constitutional scholars' perspective since, due to the judicialization of mega politics, it has lost its significance. I do not think that all questions, particularly those of a pure political flavor, such as a state building, can be handled by judges, so we have to step back and make the separation of powers principle really workable.

Violeta Besirevic
Univerziteta Union

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This page is a summary of: Making Sense of the Political Question Doctrine: The Case of Kosovo, Review of Central and East European Law, February 2021, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/15730352-bja10041.
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