chapter  4
33 Pages

Is the International Personality of Intergovernmental Organizations Valid vis-a-vis Non-Members?

ByFinn Seyersted

It was concluded that all intergovernmental organizations are general subjects of international law in the sense that they have the capacity to perform any 'sovereign' and international acts which they are in a practical position to perform, and that their legal position in this respect basically is the same as that of the traditional subjects of international law, States, although in practice most intergovernmental organizations are not in a factual position to exercise all their inherent legal capacities. The legal/practical difficulty which Seidl-Hohenveldern invokes against the validity of the international personality of intergovernmental organization vis-a-vis non-member States, thus is not very likely to arise in respect of agreements concluded by Members of these organizations. The Member States of an intergovernmental organization which operates ships under its flag, or aircraft or space vehicles not registered in any State, are not as such responsible for damage caused by such ships, aircraft or vehicles, unless they have specifically assumed such responsibility.