Subjects of International Law

Introduction

Subjects of International Law can be described as those persons or entities who possess international personality. Throughout the 19th century, only States qualified as subjects of international law. After, the Second World War, more and more new actors emerged in the international legal arena such as the intergovernmental organizations created by States, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) created by individuals, multinationals and even natural persons (i.e. individuals). These can now be considered as having to a large or sometimes limited extend the capacity to become international persons.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Subjects of International Law. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's systematic classification → Subjects of international law and subject heading (subject heading Subjects of International Law is instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Bibliography

Reference works

Books

Leading articles

Systematic classification → Subjects of international law

 

New titles

As we are right in the middle of moving to a new library system, it is not yet possible to automatically collect new titles for this Research Guide.

Librarian's choice

  • Summers, J., Gough, A., (ed.), Non-State Actors and International Obligations : Creation, Evolution and Enforcement, Boston, Brill, 2018. [e-book]

    Summers, J., Gough, Non-State Actors and International Obligations Creation, Evolution and Enforcement

    Non-State Actors and International Obligations examines the contribution and relevance of non-state actors in the creation and implementation of international obligations. These actors have traditionally been marginalised within international law and ambiguities remain over their precise role. Nonetheless, they have become increasingly important in legal regimes as participants in their implementation and enforcement, and as potential holders of duties themselves. Chapters from academics and practitioners investigate different aspects of this relationship, including the sources of obligations, their implementation, human rights aspects, dispute settlement, responsibility and legal accountability.

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  • Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, A., The International Legal Personality of the Individual, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018.

    The international legal personality of the individual

    The first monograph to offer a comprehensive study of the relationship between international legal personality as a theoretical construct and the way in which individuals have been taken into account in the practice of international law

    Identifies and explains the four main theoretical conceptions of international legal personality and relates each of them to the question of the distinction between international and domestic legal norms

    Provides a comprehensive and easily accessible overview of how individuals have been taken into account in international law as a matter of positive norms.

    Challenges the existing narrative concerning the development of the role of the individual in the international legal system

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Database

Blogs

  • Is Sudan set for a divorce?

    Sudan has a history of protracted conflict between the predominately Muslim north and the largely Christian south. On 9-15 January 2011, the citizens of Southern Sudan took part in a referendum to determine if they wish to become an independent state. Although South Sudan has been an autonomous region since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) […]

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  • The Influence of NGOs on International Law

    From a traditional point of view, International Public Law has been understood as a set of rules produced by states in order to regulate relations between them. Since the end of the Cold War, the role of NGOs in international law is growing in importance and their activities are reaching the remotest parts of the world. In this blog, I will briefly discuss how NGOs have transformed international law as well as how they continue to contribute to the development of international law.

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See also

More Research guides on Public International Law

PPL keywords

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Systematic classification → Subjects of international law