Asymmetry in International Legal Personality

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Abdulaziz Ramdhan Ali Alkhtabi, Ahmed Tarek Yassin


The state has represented the sole legal person of international law since its inception under the Westphalian system in 1648. It has continued to exercise the role of the only person in customary international law. With the change in the reality of international relations in the wake of the World War and the shift towards comprehensive international organization, intergovernmental organizations emerged as a new actor in international law. This new actor was not recognized by any distinguished legal status, as the state remained dominant in the reality of international relations, and the trend of international justice, specifically the judiciary of the Permanent Court of Justice (PICJ) remained consistent with the data of customary international law. International law remains the law that governs relations between states only. With the end of World War II and the emergence of the United Nations, the international legal personality of intergovernmental organizations was recognized, and then a distinct legal center emerged for the individual and for multinational companies, and international jurisprudence and jurisprudence began to deal with international legal actors other than the state (Non-State Actors). But these actors are not distinguished by identical legal positions with the state, nor identical legal positions within the same category, as the reality of international dealings and the path of international justice confirm the existence of asymmetry in the legal positions of the state personality.

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