The IUP Journal of Law Review
Legal Personality of International Organizations: A Brief Survey

Article Details
Pub. Date : July 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Law Review
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJLR10721
Author Name : Mohd Imran
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 20



Despite the fact that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has never received any contentious or advisory case directly questioning the legal personality of any international organization, it has long been discussed and debated by the international courts and academic scholars. However, the international courts have received several cases challenging the "capacity" of some or the other international organizations. Those are cases where the courts have sought to clarify some issues related to the legal personality of international organizations. This paper empirically studies the statutes of 46 international organizations pertaining to legal personality. While the study suggests that there is no uniformity in language pertaining to the legal personality provisions, most of the statutes of international organizations have resorted to including the language focusing on the "legal capacity", specifying the powers of international organization. An attempt has been made to throw some light on the nuances that lie with the "legal capacity" and "legal personality" of international organizations.


Before the 1920s, only states were considered subjects of international law.1 The international community changed its approach to look at international law after the establishment of some powerful international organizations such as League of Nations and International Labour Organization. The creation of the United Nations forced the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to formulate some important requirements relating to the recognition of legal personality of international organizations.2 For the purpose of bestowing a legal personality, each legal system has developed its own requirements that may differ from state to state. The requirements under Indian law may differ from those of United Kingdom or from those (if any) posited by the international legal system.3 Though, each state grants the personality to organizations under the requirements of domestic law, it is interesting to note that states do not deny the legal personality of any organization if other state has so far recognized it.4

Wladyslaw Czaplinski argues that international personality is in principle indivisible, and its scope should be the same with respect to all primary (states) and secondary (all other subjects including non-state actors). However, there is a


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