16 August 2018

New book on the International Legal Personality of the Individual

The International Legal Personality of the IndividualAssociate Professor Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, University of Copenhagen, iCourts – Centre of Excellence for International Courts, has published a new book.

The International Legal Personality of the Individual, Oxford University Press, 2018 (available here) scrutinizes the relationship between the concept of international legal personality as a theoretical construct and the position of the individual as a matter of positive international law. By testing four main theoretical conceptions of international legal personality against historical and existing international legal norms that govern individuals, the book argues that the common narrative about the development of the role of the individual in international law is flawed. Against this background, the book shows how present-day international lawyers continue to allow an idea, which was never more than a scholarly invention of the nineteenth century, to influence the interpretation and application of contemporary international law. This state of affairs has significant ramifications as international legal rights and obligations of individuals (and other non-State entities) are frequently applied more restrictively than interpretation without presumptions regarding 'personality’ would merit.