Legal Personality Development in International Law


International law, IL, is founded on regulations created and acknowledged as obligatory in associations between countries and between nation-states. States are autonomous and equivalent in their relationships and can willingly make or accept the legally mandatory rules, specifically in the type of an accord or a pact (Kaczorowska 306). By authorizing and endorsing agreements, countries freely enter into lawful, predetermined relations with other countries to a particular contract, which compliance is usually overseen by the mutual impacts of non-compliance. The capability of nations to sign such associations with other countries and to make legitimately binding rules is a product of countries’ international legal personality. The matter of the part of the individual in IL has been an issue for decades (Kaczorowska 308). The article below analyzes the process of development of legal personality of the individual in international law.

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At the start of the eighteen century, independent countries alone were deemed to possess lawful international personality (Kaczorowska 310). The above implied that they were the only individuals with the capability to get rights and responsibilities using international law. During the time, countries were the invincible makers of international law. As such, Individuals were not factored in international law because they lacked the lawful global character that is a requirement for the position to have international rights and responsibilities.

In the mid-19th century, circumstances changed for the individuals. With globalization, IL and international relations extended quickly as the world became interconnected (Muller 294). Similarly, globalization resulted in new challenges. At the time, new global threats like terrorism attacks emerged. The jeopardies could not be addressed with ease except through state collaboration. Owing to this new parties were admitted into the international scene among them were the individuals. The shift transformed IL because countries were no longer the exclusive parties on the global stage. The above implied that countries were no longer the sole subjects of IL.

In a milestone ruling of the year 1949, the ICJ established that individuals might perhaps indeed have international legal character and consequently have privileges and responsibilities under IL (Thompson 546). The ICJ stated that lawful international character of the United Nations was a derivative of the UN Contract. Following the World War II, the Security Council recognized two global improvised committees in an endeavor to put on trial entities responsible for crimes against humanity perpetrated during the conflict. The Nurnberg and Tokyo court of law established that in some conditions, individuals might have authorized disposition under IL and have the capability to have privileges and responsibilities directly. The above incidence was the first instance in the history of IL that individuals were deemed answerable for international wrongdoings like criminalities against humanity forbidden in by IL and numerous international agreements.

International responsibility of individuals was later approved on various accounts by various law courts. The courts included the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals (Shaw 64). They focused on countries such as Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The UN Security Council instituted the courts. They were meant to put on trial people liable for war offenses, criminalities against humankind, and extermination under IL.

The process of making individuals internationally answerable for international wrongdoings was lastly made enduring with the formation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Rome Statute administers the court (Bordin 546). The court’s obligation is to put on trial individuals as required by IL for wrongdoings like a massacre, war criminalities, and criminalities against civilization. Presently, there are over 120 countries making up the Rome Statute.

Global customary regulations and pacts have delimited the management of individuals in the foreign arena for years. Such guidelines defend countries’ populaces in the overseas zone against unlawful activities of the foreign nation. The above measures have a basis in countries sovereignty and the progressively shrinking attitude of non-intrusion in a state’s domestic matters. A few decades in the past, the manner through which a government would manage its inhabitants, was an internal topic that was a non-issue to other autonomous states. For decades, nations’ independence mask appeared to be impassable up until global and local human rights law attained international acceptance with unparalleled promptness.

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The appearance of international human privileges nevertheless transformed the inviolability of country’s independence and forced some international responsibilities upon countries to uphold, defend, and accomplish the human rights to all persons in their regions. Global human rights regulation also instituted complaint process in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Kaczorowska The Repression Of International Crimes 123). Additionally, local human rights law agencies have gone a notch higher inaugurating a hard implementation apparatus of a human rights law court with the capability to offer lawfully binding rulings on whether or not a country has desecrated the European Human Rights Convention. Currently, individuals might not be partaking in the international legal system, in the same way, the nations do. However, the development is clear that the responsibility of individuals will continue to advance in the future.

Works Cited

Bordin, Fill. “Legal Personality In International Law”. British Yearbook of International Law 82.1 (2012): 546-549. Print.

Kaczorowska, Alina. The Individual And The International Legal System. Abingdon, England: Routledge-Cavendish, 2008. Print.

—. The Repression Of International Crimes. Abingdon, England: Routledge-Cavendish, 2008. Print.

Muller, Arman. “The Individual In The International Legal System. Continuity And Change In International Law”. European Journal of International Law 23.1 (2012): 294-299. Print.

Shaw, Malcolm N. International Law. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Print.

Thompson, Edmund. “Development And Validation Of An International English Big-Five Mini-Markers”. Personality and Individual Differences 45.6 (2008): 542-548. Print.

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