The principle of personality
When used in a legal sense, the term 'personality' usually refers to the capacity of an individual or entity to hold rights and be subject to obligations within a particular legal system. But personality, like jurisdiction, may be more than just something which is objectively determinable. It may also be a requirement or, in some cases, an entitlement, and to the degree that it is either or that it subsumes more specific requirements or entitlements within the international legal system, it may be considered a principle of international law.1
For example, different degrees of personality may exist within any legal system, in that some individuals or entities may be able, required or entitled to hold more rights or be subject to more obligations than others. Among these, an individual or entity with full legal personality is capable of holding as many rights and being subject to as many obligations as any other individual or entity within the legal system. But in a legal system in which the same individuals or entities are both subjects and creators of the law, having full legal personality also means that the individual or entity in question is formally entitled to participate in the relevant processes of law creation to the same extent as any other individual or entity.2 In the international legal system the principle of personality has the consequence that only those individuals or entities which have international legal personality are entitled to participate in the process of customary international law, and only those individuals or entities which have full international legal personality are entitled to participate fully in that process.
Within the international legal system, States are usually considered to be the only holders of full legal personality. In principle, all States have the same degree of legal personality, and in that sense all States are formally equal. Consequently all States, from the weakest to the most powerful, have an equal entitlement to participate in the process of customary international law.3____________________