New York, N.Y. (November 11, 2008) — From October 9 through 14, 2008, New York Law School Professor Tai-Heng Cheng traveled to the Balkans to advise the Republic of Kosovo and the International Civilian Office (ICO) responsible for implementing the status settlement of Kosovo.
“I was honored and humbled to have been invited to visit Kosovo and consult with a broad range of decision-makers, all engaged in building a sovereign nation in the first critical year of its existence,” Professor Cheng said.
Professor Cheng advised the Office of the President and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the pending Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality of Kosovo’s declaration of independence.
He noted: “Serbia would like the ICJ to decide that Kosovo’s independence was illegal. However, that ship has sailed. Trying to unwind Kosovo’s independence now would risk instability and violence in the Balkans.”
Professor Cheng also discussed various legal issues with the International Civilian Office, including border delimitation, state succession, sovereign debt, recognition by other states of Kosovo’s statehood, and treaties. In addition, he gave a lecture on state succession at the University of Pristina School of Law to students and attorneys from the Ministry of Justice.
“The United States has been committed to Kosovo’s independence; the Obama administration should continue this policy. Our foreign policy priorities must be combating militancy in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. It is in our national interest to have a stable Balkans assisted by the European community, so that large U.S. troop deployments there are unnecessary,” Professor Cheng said.
He added, “However, in future instances of provinces seeking
independence, President-elect Obama’s team will have to consider
whether the breakaway province would have enough resources to survive as
an independent state. Effective U.S. foreign policy will be difficult to
achieve if the world splinters into yet more little states.”
Professor Cheng is available for expert commentary on Kosovo and the Balkans. He is also an expert in public and private international law, especially state succession and regime change, international trade and investment, and international dispute resolution. He has given presentations at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, the United Nations, and Yale Law School. He is Honorary Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association. He holds a Doctor of the Science of Law degree and a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School, where he was Howard M. Holtzman Fellow for International Law. He also holds a Master of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree with first class honors in law from Oxford University, where he was Oxford University Scholar. His next book, An International Law Paradigm, is forthcoming in 2009 by Oxford University Press.
Professor Cheng can be reached at 646.239.4054 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional assistance, please contact Nancy Guida in the Office of Marketing and Communications at New York Law School at 212.431.2325 (office), or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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