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Copyright (c) 1997 Hofstra Law & Policy Symposium 
Hofstra Law & Policy Symposium

ARTICLE: THE PERSONALITY OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS IN ENGLISH LAW

1997

2 Hofstra L. & Pol'y Symp. 75

Author

Geoffrey Marston *

Excerpt



I. INTRODUCTION.
 
In his judgment in Arab Monetary Fund v. Hashim (No. 3) in the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, the highest judicial tribunal in the United Kingdom, Lord Templeman stated:


 
The Tin Council case reaffirmed that the English courts can only identify and allow actions by individuals, sovereign states and corporate bodies. The Tin Council case reaffirmed that the English courts cannot identify and allow actions by international organisations which sovereign states by treaty agree to bring into existence. 1


 
The Tin Council case 2 was the first of three decisions in the English courts within the last ten years which have directed attention upon the legal status of international organisations in English law with an intensity not previously seen. For many years previous to these decisions a large number of international organisations had operated without obvious difficulty within the British legal system. 3 The purpose of this article is to trace in outline the history of this relationship, to see how it was put under strain by the three cases, and to consider whether there are any other areas of doubt which might one day lead to further litigation.

II. THE PERIOD UP TO 1940.
 
During the nineteenth century, the United Kingdom became a member of a number of organisations established by inter-State or inter- Government agreements. 4

These organisations, which included the Rhine and Danube river commissions and public utility bodies like the International Telegraphic Union and the Universal Postal Union, had their administrative ...
 
 
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