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Hofstra Law and Policy Symposium

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The source of international legal personality in international relations in the twenty first century goes to the heart of international governance in at least two respects. First, it affects how local, regional and global communities of humans will be governed. Second, it shapes the manner in which that governance, whatever form it takes, will account to populations for its actions or failures to act.

An underlying issue raised by any inquiry into source is whether the assertion of international political identity by a non state entity should establish, without more, international legal personality as a matter of international law? If entities and actors other than states are able to successfully assert independent international legal personality in their own right in the international legal system, the present system of state accountability to the world's population for the creation of international law rights and duties will be diluted and the source of international legal personality will shift away from states.

In the last 50 years, new approaches to the source of international legal personality have begun to emerge in response to the dramatic changes in the economic, political, cultural and social world order. Those changes are reflected in at least six global developments, most of which have yet to be completed.



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