Part VIII International Institutional Law, Ch.47 Assessing the Legality of Decisions
Jan Wouters, Jed Odermatt
Edited By: Jacob Katz Cogan, Ian Hurd, Ian Johnstone
- Membership of international organizations — International organizations, practice and procedure — Resolutions of international organizations
This chapter examines the legal/judicial accountability of international organizations (IOs). ‘Judicial review’ in reference to acts of IOs has been defined as ‘a process by which a court of law determines whether a legal person has acted substantively within the scope of its powers and procedurally in a correct manner’. Using this definition of review, we find that there is a serious lack of judicial review of acts of IOs at the international level. The chapter is organized as follows. The first part discusses the variety of IOs that are now active and the diverse types of acts they produce. It then examines the fora where these acts can be legally challenged. The next part examines the grounds for review upon which acts of IOs are challenged and the legal consequences that flow from an act found to be in violation of legal requirements. Finally, the chapter examines non-judicial review mechanisms, such as non-compliance and withdrawal from an organization. It concludes that the legal review of acts of IOs remains an underdeveloped area of the law of IOs, especially given the impact such acts can have on states and individuals.