Inter-governmental organisations
in The law of international organisations (third edition)
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This chapter defines and explains an inter-governmental organisation (IGO) and argues that the United Nations (UN) is paradigmatic of this genre. A contrast is made with other forms of organisation, particularly the supranational integration organisation. The chapter also defines the law of international organisations as the law governing, applicable to, and produced by, such organisations, and explains how this is best studied through a focus on the UN and related IGOs. It explores how law and politics work within the UN and helps the reader to understand how to identify and apply the law, and to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the law. The chapter concludes with a case study drawn from the practice of the Security Council involving the exercise of the veto to distinguish when practice is a valid interpretation or development of the law, and when it is a breach.

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