Common Law of International Organizations

This work provides a comprehensive theory of the system of legal norms that are developed partly in the internal written (constitutional) law of intergovernmental organizations and partly through their consistent practice, and that are therefore common to intergovernmental organizations.
The legal construction presented in this volume consists of the following main elements:
As for all other self-governing communities all intergovernmental organizations possess their own internal law governing their relations with 1) the organs of the organization, 2) the officials and 3) the member states in their capacity as members of the organization. Some organizations exercise in addition extended (delegated) jurisdiction over states, other organizations and/or individuals.
Secondly, as for other self-governing communities all intergovernmental organizations are subjects of public international law in their relations with other self-governing communities (states and other intergovernmental organizations), and in the case of extended jurisdiction, also in relations with individuals and private entities.
Thirdly, as for all other self-governing communities possessing its own internal law (its distinct lex personalis), intergovernmental organizations enter into relations of a private law nature with both public and private entities. Governed by the rules on conflict of laws, these relations must be determined by assessing relevant 1) personal, 2) territorial and 3) organic connecting factors.
Thus Common Law of Intergovernmental Organizations brings together all those elements pertaining to the theory of objective legal personality that have been presented in a scattered fashion, in bits and pieces.
Common Law of Intergovernmental Organizations, starting out from the position of objective legal personality, is fully compatible with modern requirements of good governance and accountability of international organizations, and particularly adaptable to the ideal of “systemic integration” of legal regimes constituting internal law of the organization.

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Biographical Note
Finn Seyersted (1915-2006) served in the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1943 after completion of law studies at the University of Oslo, Norway. Among his appointments and experience may be mentioned: Delegate to the Geneva Conference on the Law of the Sea, 1958, Director Legal Division of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 1960-65, Associé of Institut de droit international, chairman of the committee that drafted the constitution of the (former) International Maritime Satellite Organization; participation in conferences and meetings of other IGOs; and member of the international administrative tribunals until 1991 and of relevant committees of other IGOs. Norwegian Ambassador 1968-73, Professor of international law, University of Oslo from 1973.
Table of contents
About the author

Part One: Introduction
Chapter 1: Scope and purpose; Chapter 2: Intergovernmental organizations - internal and international law; Chapter 3: The basic general distinctions

Part two: Internal law
Chapter 4: Types of jurisdiction exercised by self-governing communities; Chapter 5: Inherent jurisdiction over organs and officials; Chapter 6: Extended jurisdiction of some organizations in substantive matters (delegated powers); Chapter 7: Settlement of internal disputes

Part Three: Public international law
Chapter 8: Public international law - introduction; Chapter 9: International acts; Chapter 10 Responsibility of intergovernmental organizations

Part Four: Conflict of Laws: Relations with private parties
Chapter 11: Internal relations; Chapter 12: External relations with private parties, introduction; Chapter 13: Provisions on applicable law; Chapter 14: Practice when there is no conflicts provision; Chapter 15: Relationship between International law of IGOs and General Principles of Law; Chapter 16: Choice between national laws; Chapter 17: Relationship between competent courts and applicable law; Chapter 18: Conclusions

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