International Institutional Law

Sixth Revised Edition

This sixth, revised edition of International Institutional Law covers the most recent developments in the field. Although public international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the African Union, ASEAN, the European Union, Mercosur, NATO and OPEC have broadly divergent objectives, powers, fields of activity and numbers of member states, they also share a wide variety of institutional characteristics. Rather than being a handbook for specific organizations, the book offers a comparative analysis of the institutional law of international organizations. It includes chapters on the rules and practices concerning membership, institutional structure, decision-making, financing, legal order, supervision and sanctions, legal status and external relations. The book’s theoretical framework and extensive use of case-studies is designed to appeal to both academics and practitioners.

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Henry G. Schermers, Ph.D. (1957) Leiden University, has been Professor of the Law of International Organizations at the Universities of Amsterdam and Leiden. He published the first edition of International Institutional Law in 1972. Henry Schermers passed away in 2006. Niels M. Blokker, Ph.D (1989) Leiden University, is Professor of International Institutional Law at Leiden University and was previously Deputy Legal Adviser at the Foreign Ministry of The Netherlands. He is co-founder and co-editor in chief of International Organizations Law Review (published by Martinus Nijhoff/Brill Publishers).
Abbreviations, Terminology, Internet References
1 Introduction
 I International Institutional Law
 II Definition
 III Classification
 IV Conclusion
2 Participants
 I Full Members
 II Associate Members
 III Partial Members
 IV Affiliate Members
 V Observers
 VI Concluding Observations
3 Rules for International Organs
 I Powers
 II Composition of Organs
 III Functioning
 IV Concluding Observations
4 Policy-Making and Administrative Organs
 I Classifying International Organs
 II Policy-Making Organs
 III Secretariat
 IV The European Commission
 V Concluding Observations
5 Advisory and Supervisory Organs
 I Parliamentary Organs
 II Judicial Organs
 II Concluding Observations
6 Decision-Making Process
 I The Concept of a Decision
 II Legal Basis
 III Initiative
 IV Drafting of the Text
 V Decision-making by Consensus
 VI Voting
 VII Entry into Force of Decisions
 VIII Termination of Decisions
 IX Concluding Observations
7 Financing
 I Expenditure
 II Income
 III Budget
 IV Concluding Observations
8 Legal Order
 I Introduction
 II Constitution
 III Decisions of the Organization
 IV Other Elements of the Legal Order
 V Concluding Observations
9 Interpretation and Settlement of Disputes
 I Means of Interpretation
 II Authorities Charged with Interpretation
 III Competence to Request Interpretation
 IV Concluding Observations
10 Supervision and Sanctions
 I Definitions
 II Supervision of the Implementation of Rules
 III Official Recognition of Violations
 IV Waiver of Obligations
 V Sanctions
 VI Concluding Observations
11 Legal Status
 I Status in International Law
 II Status in National Law
 III Duration
 IV Concluding Observations
12 External Relations
 I Partners for External Relations
 II Instruments of External Relations
 III Concluding Observations
Concluding Remarks
 I Introduction
 II The Relationship between an International Organization and Its Members
 III Diversity of the Rules of International Institutional Law
 IV Unity of the Rules of International Institutional Law
 V Towards More Centralized International Law?


International law, law of international organizations, international institutional law. Both academics and practitioners.
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