Glen  Lavy
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The birth of a new nation is an extraordinary thing to behold, especially when the gestation period has been as long, as difficult, and as painful as the one that has produced a newly-independent Kosovo.

Kosovars are making a deliberate and admirable effort to heal the ethnic rifts that have so bitterly divided their populace for so long, and their excitement is palpable, as they prepare to assume their rightful place in the community of nations. How tragic, then, for a people who have yearned to embrace the freedoms that have empowered the United States and so much of Europe, to see those freedoms stillborn in a constitution deformed by the self-serving dictates of others.

The constitution approved by Kosovo’s Parliament without debate on April 9 is a distinct improvement on earlier drafts, and to the casual observer, the document is replete with explicit references to the civil rights and personal liberties cherished by free peoples all over the world. But the fine print harbors some ominous sections that elevate political correctness to the inevitable exclusion of personal liberty.

Many of these contradictions can be attributed to the influence of non-government organizations from outside Kosovo that have inserted themselves into the process. Accountable to no one, these groups have corrupted the already-complex constitutional process, subjugating the liberties of the Kosovars to the promotion of a one-world, UN-dominated agenda.

While tipping the legal hat to civil rights like freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and the press, and freedom of political association, the current constitution ruthlessly limits those rights to the whim of the prevailing political powers.

Free speech provisions, for instance, are shackled to passages forbidding communications that offend others. Freedom of assembly can be curtailed easily by limitations imposed on any group that disagrees with the government or with the classes that the government chooses to protect, such as “sexual orientation.” Freedom of conscience can be invalidated if following one’s religious convictions violates the “health or rights” of someone else. (So medical professionals, for instance, can be compelled to perform abortions, even if they believe such procedures are murder.)

As written, Article 55 of the Kosovo Constitution apparently authorizes the national Assembly, under certain circumstances, to create “limitations to human rights and fundamental freedoms,” if those rights and freedoms contradict the current political climate.

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Glen Lavy

Glen Lavy is a senior vice president and senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (www.telladf.org).
 
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