The Concept of an International Organization in International Law

ISBN : 9780192895790

Lorenzo Gasbarri
256 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2021
Oxford Monographs in International Law
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  • Introduces a novel theory on the concept of an international organization in international law
  • Provides a comprehensive analysis and rebuttal of existing views and notions of how international organizations are conceptualized in international law
  • Considers the consequences of the 'dual legal nature' of international organizations in relation to international responsibility, the law of treaties, and the validity of the acts of these organizations

Despite their exponential growth in number and activities, there is not an established legal concept of an international organization. This book tackles the topic by examining the nature of the legal systems developed by international organizations. It is the first comprehensive study of the concepts by which international organizations' legal systems are commonly understood: functionalism, constitutionalism, exceptionalism, and informalism. Its purpose is threefold: to trace the historical origins of the different concepts of an international organization, to describe four groups under which these different notions can be aligned, and to propose a theory which defines international organizations as 'dual entities'. The concept of an international organization is defined by looking at the nature of the legal systems they develop. The notion of 'dual legal nature' describes how organizations create particular legal systems that derive from international law. This situation affects the law they produce, which is international and internal at the same time. The effects of the dual legal nature are considered by analysing international responsibility, the law of treaties, and the validity of organizations' acts.


6:Interim Conclusions
7:A Venture into Legal Theory
8:The Dual Legal Nature in Practice
9:The Law of Treaties
10:Validity and ultra vires Acts
11:International Responsibility

About the author: 

Lorenzo Gasbarri is Research Fellow in International Law at Bocconi University. He has studied at the University of Florence, the University of Milan and at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Dr Gasbarri has held research positions at University College London, and at the University of Helsinki. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Copenhagen and at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. He is Junior Editor of the Oxford Database on International Organizations and he convenes the interest group on the law of international organizations of the European Society of International Law.

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