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[Preface, The New Kosovo Constitution in a Regional Comparative Perspective]

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image of Review of Central and East European Law
For more content, see Review of Socialist Law.

[Kosovo's declaration of independence is not the end of the long story of a difficult relationship between the various Serb state formations and Kosovo Albanians, but only the beginning of a new chapter. The present article discusses the constitutional choices that had to be made in the drafting of the new Kosovo Constitution with regard to institution-building and conflict management in light of the experiences in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. After studying the political background and the legislative history of the drafting of the Constitution and analyzing how the Constitution regulates the governmental structures and human rights, the author comes to the following conclusions: First, there are serious doubts about the effective interplay between Kosovo institutions and the ICR and the capacity to create an "effective" system of checks and balances based on legal security. Second, he identifies the lack of feeling of "ownership" of the constitutional drafting process among the Kosovo Albanian political elites as a serious handicap for the legitimacy of the Constitution. Third, legal gaps and confusion persist regarding legal remedies against administrative decisions. Fourth, he identifies a promising balance between "civic" and "ethnic" elements that is achieved by granting ethnic overrepresentation while at the same time ruling out an absolute veto power for any ethnic group. Finally, he comes to the conclusion that all institutional arrangements cannot guarantee integrative effects as long as good neighborly relations are not developed with Serbia, but this should be fostered by European integration., ]


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