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STATUS OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

The status of any international organization as a person in inter­national law is dependent upon the treaty constituting the organiza­tion. The usual theory accounting for the international legal personality of international organizations explains that states dele­gate some of their sovereign powers, thus some of their international personality, to international organizations so those organizations can fulfill their designated functions in international relations.

Although it is theoretically conceivable that such delegation could be tacitly concluded in customary international law, in fact, every international organization is the result of an explicit international agreement. It is to the treaty, effectively the constitution, of each international organ­ization that one must first turn to define the organization's functions and powers. Of course, a treaty's provisions may be amplified, as necessary, by implications from custom and general principles of law.

Regardless of its status in international law, an international organization's legal personality may be separately defined by municipal law at least for domestic purposes. So, for example, in the United States, presidential executive orders, pursuant to the International Organizations Immunities Act, designate various international or­ganizations as legal persons for the purposes of U.S. law. Like a foreign state, an international organization may be entitled to extend diplomatic immunities to its personnel.

Unlike states, however, which by definition have their own territories, populations, governments, and capacities to conduct interna­tional affairs, the attributes of international organizations are usually quite limited. Their competence is restricted to certain designated functions.

So, for example, few international organizations have any executive capabilities; these usually remain with the member states. International organizations often serve merely as gatherers of infor­mation, organizers of conferences, and makers of recommendations.

A few regional international organizations like the European Eco­nomic Community have been delegated some real legislative powers and, in the cases of the European Courts of Justice and of Human Rights, some effective judicial authority.

Task 9. Speak on:

1. Subjects of international law.

2. Sources of international law.

 


Date: 2015-01-29; view: 610


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