Nigel D. White
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International legal personality
The key to autonomy
in The law of international organisations (third edition)
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This chapter addresses the legal construction that helps to answer the question of how the UN and inter-governmental organisations (IGOs) are separate and autonomous i.e. independent of member states, when member states have created IGOs and sit and vote in their organs. It reminds the reader about the possibility of creation of separate, abstract legal entities, such as clubs, societies, corporations, and states. In international law there needs to be an assessment of whether IGOs are legal subjects of the international legal order, thereby having international legal personality, separate from the states. The chapter presents the International Court's advisory opinion in the Reparations case, which was in favour of the UN possessing international legal personality, with the concomitant right to bring claims against states.

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