The framework convention for the protection of national minorities and internalisation: lessons from the Western Balkans

Craig, Elizabeth (2021) The framework convention for the protection of national minorities and internalisation: lessons from the Western Balkans. Review of Central and East European Law, 46 (1). pp. 1-40. ISSN 0925-9880

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Abstract

The precise form of internalization of the provisions of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in domestic law is crucial in ensuring its long-term effectiveness. Experiences in the Western Balkans raise important questions about the role of minority (or community) rights legislation in deeply divided societies. This article uses the case-studies of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and the Republic of North Macedonia to highlight key themes and limitations that have emerged. Comparative analysis reveals a surprising divergence of approaches to internalization in the region. The article further demonstrates that the ‘nation-cum-state paradigm’ remains prevalent, despite the premise of universality. It argues that such legislation can play an important symbolic and practical role, but that legal internalization needs to be seen as an ongoing process. It concludes that attention needs to be given to ensuring the continued particularization and adaptation of such legislation in light of both the limitations and changing circumstances, providing a key lesson also for other divided societies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: minority rights, minority protection, community rights, Western Balkans, Southeast Europe, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Council of Europe, divided societies, internalization, laws on minorities
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research
Depositing User: Elizabeth Craig
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2020 09:22
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2021 08:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/89872

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