United Nations Justice

Legal and Judicial Reform in Governance Operations

image of United Nations Justice

At the end of the 20th century, and at the dawn of the 21st, the United Nations was tasked with the administration of justice in territories placed under its executive authority, an undertaking for which there was no established precedent or doctrine. Examining the UN’s legal and judicial reform efforts in Kosovo and East Timor, this volume argues that rather than helping to establish a sustainable legal system, the UN’s approach detracted from it, as it confused ends with means.



The UN interim administration mission in kosovo

The hostilities over Kosovo, between Christian Orthodox Serbs and its predominantly Muslim Albanian population, go back to the defeat of the Serbs in the Battle of Kosovo on 28 June 1389. Until then, Kosovo was at the heart of the Serbian kingdom. However, when the Serb Prince Lazar lost against the invading Turks, Kosovo became a part of the Ottoman Empire for the following five centuries. Even though no longer under Serbian authority, Serbian folklore kept Kosovo firmly embedded in Serbian hearts and minds for six centuries after the territory was lost. With the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the first Balkan War in 1912, Serbia managed to reacquire Kosovo; since then, Kosovo has had a violent history.


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