a modern phenomenon linked to the maturing of
the international legal system.
• greatest of all expressions of this tendency is the League of Nations and the United Nations (UN),
set up after the First and Second World Wars respectively
• From a legal perspective, international organizations are entities created by states as a vehicle to further their common interests.
Constituted by a treaty
• usually composed of three organs:
– (1) a plenary assembly of all Member States,
– (2) an executive organ with limited participation, and
– (3) a secretariat, or administrative body
• Diplomatic conferences such as the G8, institutions lacking organs such as the Commonwealth, and treaties such as the former General Agreement on Tariff s and Trade (GATT) (now superseded by the WTO) are not international organizations
• international organizations can possess international personality
– only possess personality granted in either their constituent treaty or arising by necessary implication from their functions.
– existence depends on the consent of Member
• Example of IO
– UN (See Reparation Case)
• Article 104 of the Charter of the United Nations
• The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each of its Members such legal capacity as may be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfillment of its purposes.
• Article 1, Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations 1946 (1 UNTS 15)
– The United Nations shall possess juridical personality. It shall have the
• (a) to contract;
• (b) to acquire and dispose of immovable and movable property;
• (c) to institute legal proceedings.
• Capacity to conclude a treaty (See the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations (not yet in force).
• Capacity to make international claims.
• Standing before international tribunals.
• Capacity to own property,
• Responsibility
• See, James Gabriel Campbell v. Labour Court,
Kathmandu and Others, NKP 226 (2065).
• Article 105 of the Charter of the United Nations
– The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each of its Members such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the fulfilment of its purposes.