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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter notes that for a considerable period, international organizations scholarship was preoccupied with establishing international organizations as actors enjoying their own international legal personality. With the increase and diversification of tasks fulfilled by such organizations, the question has come to the fore as to what extent these subjects of international law may become responsible for their actions. This debate has overshadowed the underlying and more fundamental question of what kinds of obligations can be identified as binding upon international organizations. According to this chapter, the latter central question requires one to turn to the sources of international organizations’ law. It places special emphasis on the practical implications of identifying the right sources for accountability issues, whether they concern UN embargoes, targeted sanctions, peacekeeping, or the administration of (criminal) justice by international organizations.

Keywords: United Nations (UN), General principles of international law, Sources of international law, International criminal courts and tribunals

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