Are International Organizations subjects of International Humanitarian law?


International organizations are institutions which the states constitute in order to perform a given function, for instance the promotion of human rights, trade, or peace and security. As far as legal personality is concerned, International organizations can enjoy legal personality. – either the founding states confer a legal personality or for the performance of the given task, the measure of legal personality is necessary. The legal personality of international organizations is different from its member states. Therefore, international organizations are a subject of international law. Now the question arises, are International organizations bound by international law? The International Court of Justice issued a very important statement regarding this matter. The Court stated that International Organizations are subjects of international law and therefore are also bound by it by their constitutions of international agreements. Customary international law is used interchangeably with general rules of international law. Few international organizations, generally whose task is to promote peace and security, have the capacity to use armed force. As the legal personality of an international organization and its member states are different, first it has to be found out who is involved in the armed conflict, the international organization or its member states.


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