Institutional lawmaking
A new source of international law?
in The law of international organisations (third edition)
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Although there are controversies about the UN Security Council making binding general international law, this should not disguise the fact that the UN General Assembly has been hugely influential in shaping international law since 1948. This chapter explores institutional lawmaking in the modern era, looking in detail at the impact of General Assembly Resolutions on outer space in the 1960s and the WHO's Health Regulations. Both the General Assembly Resolutions and the WHO's Health Regulations are shown to be international laws in their own right and that they are paradigmatic of UN lawmaking more generally. The chapter examines whether inter-governmental organisations, in exercising their autonomous competence, have the potential to produce laws in their own right, irrespective of whether their output feeds into the traditional sources, such as treaties, custom or general principles, of international law.

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