Publication Date: 30 September 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
This is the first monograph to scrutinize the relationship between the concept of international legal personality as a theoretical construct and the position of the ultimate subject, the individual, as a matter of positive international law. By testing the four main theoretical conceptions of international legal personality against historical and existing norms of positive international law that regulate the conduct of individuals, the book argues that the common narrative in contemporary scholarship about the development of the role of the individual in the international legal system is flawed.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, international law did not apply to states alone until World War II, only to transform during the second half of the 20th century so as to include individuals as its subjects. Rather, the answer to the question of individual rights and obligations under international law is – and always was – strictly empirical. It follows, of course, that the entities governed by a particular norm tell us nothing about the legal system to which that norm belongs. Instead, the distinction between international law and national law turns exclusively on whether the source of the norm in question is international or national in kind. Against the background of these insights, the book shows how present-day international lawyers continue to allow an idea, which was never more than a scholarly invention of the 19th century, to influence the interpretation and application of international law. This state of affairs has significant real-world ramifications as international legal rights and obligations of individuals (and other non-state entities) are frequently applied more restrictively than interpretation without presumptions regarding ‘personality’ would merit.
Table of Contents
2. INTERNATIONAL LEGAL PERSONALITY AS A THEORETICAL CONSTRUCT
3. THE PERSONALITY OF INDIVIDUALS IN POSITIVE INTERNATIONAL LAW – GENERAL ISSUES
4. THE LEGAL PERSONALITY OF INDIVIDUALS IN INTERNATIONAL CLAIMS
5. THE LEGAL PERSONALITY OF INDIVIDUALS IN INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW
6. THE LEGAL PERSONALITY OF INDIVIDUALS IN INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW
7. THE LEGAL PERSONALITY OF INDIVIDUALS IN INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
8. THE LEGAL PERSONALITY OF INDIVIDUALS IN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW
Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, Associate Professor of International Law, University of Copenhagen
Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen is an Associate Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen. She has previously worked as assistant attorney at one of Denmark’s top law firms and as Head of Section in the Human Rights Office of the Danish Ministry of Justice. She holds a Master of Laws from the University of Copenhagen and obtained her PhD degree at Aarhus University in 2012. Her research interests cover a wide range of issues in the field of public international law. Her work is published in international and Danish law journals as well as edited books. She is the sole editor of Nordic Approaches to International Law (Brill, 2017), and in 2005 she published a monograph in Danish entitled The Immunity of State Representatives (Thomson).