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Northern Kosovo courts in legal limbo after independence: judges group

[JURIST] Courts in Kosovo's northern districts have been left in legal limbo since the Assembly of Kosovo's February unilateral declaration of Kosovo's independence [text; JURIST report] from Serbia, the Steering Council of the Kosovo Judges' Association said Monday. The Council expressed concern that courts in the region were unable to guarantee the protection of peoples' legal rights, a situation that could lead to the violation of Article 6 of the European Convention on Fundamental Rights of and Freedoms [text]. The group urged national and international authorities to ensure that courts could operate normally. BalkanInsight.com has more.

For several days in March, hundreds of Serbs took control of a UN courthouse [JURIST report] in the northern Kosovo city of Mitrovica in protest against Kosovo's declaration of independence. Kosovo Serbs had been holding protests in front of the courthouse since Kosovo declared its independence. Serbs consider the territory of Kosovo to be Serbia's historic and religious heartland [advocacy website] and the Serbian government in Belgrade has insisted that Kosovo's declaration of independence is illegal under international law.

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