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The International Law Commission’s Definition of International Organizations

In: International Organizations Law Review
Author:
Stephen BouwhuisLegal Counsel, Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX s.bouwhuis@commonwealth.int

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Whilst the number of international organizations in the world has flourished in recent decades, attempts to analyse them have been hampered by disagreement as to how even to define what is an international organization. The International Law Commission’s recent work on the responsibility of international organizations addresses this absence by providing such a definition. This note tests that definition by applying it to one particular organization, the Commonwealth Secretariat, to see how it applies in practice and concludes with general observations on whether the definition might be used more broadly.

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