Research Handbook on the Law of International Organizations
Show Less

Research Handbook on the Law of International Organizations

Edited by Jan Klabbers and Åsa Wallendahl

This pioneering Research Handbook with contributions from renowned experts, provides an overview of the general doctrines making up the law of international organizations.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 8: International Organizations as Law-makers

Jan Wouters and Philip De Man


Jan Wouters and Philip De Man INTRODUCTION The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the law-making processes of international organizations and the impact thereof, particularly in the light of the functionalism-constitutionalism dichotomy and agency theory. The former distinction has been dealt with rather extensively earlier in this volume by Jan Klabbers and essentially juxtaposes the claim of international organizations to such rights, privileges and authority as are necessary to fulfil their functions, and the call for more control over these organizations. The constitutionalist approach is more recent and has been developed mainly in reaction to apparent flaws in the functionalist model. There are two strands of constitutionalism (de Wet, 2006): one emphasizes the existence of a number of universal core values such as human rights that permeate every level of the world legal order, the other rather focuses on the possibility of controlling international organizations through various provisions in their constituent charters. Agency theory, on the other hand, is a socio-political and microeconomic theory (Ross, 1973: 134–139) that can and has been applied equally well to political science and international relations.1 It will be discussed briefly in a separate section below. Afterwards, we will elaborate on the basic premises underlying the attribution of law-making powers to international organizations. We will then proceed to discuss how agency theory compares to the classic doctrines of functionalism and constitutionalism in explaining the lawmaking methods of international organizations and the decisions of their judicial organs. The same approach will be applied in...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.