An Introduction to International Institutional Law

By Jan Klabbers | Go to book overview

15
Dissolution and succession

Introduction

While international organizations are generally created for longer periods of time, indeed usually even without any definite time period in mind,1 not all of them manage to survive indefinitely. Some simply disappear without being succeeded to in any way; prime examples are the Warsaw Pact and Comecon, both of which were dismantled after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. On 26 June 1991, a ministerial meeting of Comecon members decided to dissolve the organization, whereas the Warsaw Pact was disbanded at a meeting of its Political Consultative Committee in Prague, on 1 July 1991.2

In other cases, organizations are remodelled to cope with new or unexpected demands, or are succeeded by new entities providing similar services and exercising similar functions to their predecessors. The most famous example is, in all likelihood, that of the League of Nations which, for all practical if not all legal purposes, has found a successor in the United Nations. Others include the ‘reconstitution’ of the OEEC into the OECD, the transformation of the Brussels Pact into the WEU, and the transition from GATT to WTO.

The main legal questions arising, whether an organization dissolves or is succeeded to, pertain to the functions, personnel, and assets and liabilities of the predecessor organization. Will they disappear? Will they continue to exist? How, if at all, will they be distributed? A preliminary question is whether dissolution (and succession) are possible to begin with, and by what modalities.

1 An exception is the ECSC, created initially for a period of fifty years, although with the possibility of continuation.

2 The facts are derived from Clive Archer, Organizing Europe: The Institutions of Integration (2nd edn, London, 1994), pp. 252–5.

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An Introduction to International Institutional Law
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgements xvi
  • Table of Cases xix
  • A Note on Documentation xxxiii
  • Abbreviations xxxv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Rise of International Organizations 16
  • 3 - The Legal Position of International Organizations 42
  • 4 - The Foundations of Powers of Organizations 60
  • 5 - International Organizations and the Law of Treaties 82
  • 6 - Issues of Membership 104
  • 7 - Financing 128
  • 8 - Privileges and Immunities 146
  • 9 - Institutional Structures 169
  • 10 - Legal Instruments 197
  • 11 - Decision-Making and Judicial Review 226
  • 12 - Dispute Settlement 253
  • 13 - Treaty-Making by International Organizations 278
  • 14 - Issues of Responsibility 300
  • 15 - Dissolution and Succession 320
  • 16 - Concluding Remarks- Re-Appraising International Organizations 334
  • Bibliography 345
  • Index 373
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