chapter  12
17 Pages

Legality in International Organizations*

ByFelice Morgenstern

This chapter deals with only one group of international organizations, namely that variously referred to as the United Nations family or the United Nations system; it consists of the United Nations, the autonomous organizations (such as UNCTAD, UNEP, UNIDO, and UNHCR) which have been established by the United Nations, the specialized agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Legality presupposes the existence of binding law. All the organizations have constitutional provisions on membership. Decisions of international organizations are taken through their organs. In so far as these organs are not composed of the entire membership, it is of importance that they be validly constituted. The distribution (often overlapping) of powers and functions between organs which are almost invariably differently composed, and frequently represent different balances of interests, is an essential feature of the conception of an organization by the authors of its constituent treaty.