international law produced by states and, in fact, are compatible with the list of sources in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice of 1945, either as treaty obligations, customs or general principles of law. It is true to say that many resolutions have passed into customary international law, but such an analysis disregards the potential normative value of the resolutions themselves, a value that reflects the autonomy of IGOs. This chapter explores institutionallawmaking in the modern era, with particular focus on General Assembly Resolutions on
International organisations are a central component of modern international society. This book provides a concise account of the principles and norms of international law applicable to the intergovernmental organisation (IGO). It defines and explains inter-governmentalism and the role of law in its regulation. The book presents case studies that show how the law works within an institutional order dominated by politics. After a note on the key relationship between the IGO and its member states, it examines the basic relationship between the UN and states in terms of membership through admissions, withdrawal, expulsion, suspension, and representation. The debate about the extent of the doctrine of legal powers is addressed through case studies. Institutional lawmaking in the modern era is discussed with particular focus on at the impact of General Assembly Resolutions on outer space and the Health Regulations of the World Health Organization. Non-forcible measures adopted by the UN and similar IGOs in terms of their legality (constitutionality and conformity to international law), legitimacy and effectiveness, is covered next. The different military responses undertaken by IGOs, ranging from observation and peacekeeping, to peace enforcement and war-fighting, are discussed in terms of legality and practice. The book also considers the idea of a Responsibility to Protect and the development of secondary rules of international law to cover the wrongful acts and omissions of IGOs. It ends with a note on how the primary and secondary rules of international law are upheld in different forms and mechanisms of accountability, including courts.
peacekeeping (including a discussion of the Expenses opinion); the legality of IGOs’ concerns over the continued possession of nuclear weapons by a limited number of states (including a discussion of the Nuclear Weapons opinions); and the legislative powers of the Security Council (focusing on Resolution 1373 of 2001).
Chapter 6: Institutionallawmaking: a new source of international law?
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
human rights concerns, and have led to litigation before various national, regional and international courts and bodies. Intriguingly, in 2009 the Security Council responded by creating an ombudsperson to hear complaints about wrongful listing. Is this a response to human rights concerns and, furthermore, does it satisfy human rights norms?
Nature of sanctions
As we have seen in Chapter 6 on institutionallawmaking, the relatively rare presence of binding laws produced by IGOs is undermined by the lack of effective sanctions to enforce them, raising questions
) (providing an
explanation of the way that such traditions and rights have
coalesced into institutions).
See Rudolf Schlesinger, “Research
on the General Principles of Law Recognized by Civilized
Nations,” 51 Am. J. Int’l L. 734 (1957).
This chapter singles out White, who does not
represent a lone voice in this area, but best illustrates the kind
of primer used to teach new generations of lawyers about the