Conceptual Thinking about the Individual in International Law<sup>*</sup>

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

in Themes and Theories

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198262350
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682322 | DOI:
Conceptual Thinking about the Individual in International Law*

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This chapter discusses individual rights in the context of international law. It analyses the status of the individual in the international legal system and the balance that international law seeks to secure between individual interests and those of the state. What is the place of the individual under international law today and in what ways is this place changing? Lawyers traditionally think in terms of the notion of ‘legal personality’, or of being a ‘subject of law’. When a state delimits its territorial boundaries, grants nationality under its own rules, asserts territorial jurisdiction and extended jurisdiction over its nationals, then individuals are manifestly affected. That is, of course, quite different from being a subject of the system that authorises the state so to act. To a certain extent, international law has been defined in contra-distinction to domestic law. There is also a close relationship between the notion of nationality of claims and the unavailability of particular tribunals to the individual.

Keywords: individual rights; international law; domestic law; state; legal personality; subject of law; claims; tribunals

Chapter.  9486 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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