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D. Subject of international law

1. States

a. CONCEPT

States – are sovereign nations. They have rights and obligations towards other nations. When necessity dictates, they may maintain or pursue international claims should their rights be violated. Conversely, they may be made responsible should they violate any obligations towards other nations.

1) Self-Defense

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security. (Article 51, UN Charter)

b. STATE BRINGS CLAIMS ON BEHALF OF INDIVIDUALS

In the international sphere, traditionally, the only means available for individuals to bring a claim within the international legal system has been when the individual is able to persuade a government to bring a claim on the individual’s behalf. Even then, it is not the individual’s rights that are being asserted, but rather, the state’s own rights. (Vinuya v. Romulo, En Banc, G.R. No. 162230, 28 April 2010)

1) Discretionary on the State

The State, therefore, is the sole judge to decide whether its protection will be granted, to what extent it is granted, and when will it cease. It retains, in this respect, a discretionary power the exercise of which may be determined by considerations of a political or other nature, unrelated to the particular case. (Ibid.)

2) Basis in International Law

The International Law Commission’s (ILC’s) Draft Articles on Diplomatic Protection fully support this traditional view. They (i) state that “the right of diplomatic protection belongs to or vests in the State,” (ii) affirm its discretionary nature by clarifying that diplomatic protection is a “sovereign prerogative” of the State; and (iii) stress that the state “has the right to exercise diplomatic protection on behalf of a national. It is under no duty or obligation to do so.” (Ibid.)

2. International organizations

a. CONCEPT

International organization – means an intergovernmental organization. (Paragraph 1[i], Article 2, Vienna Convention  on the Law of Treaties)

b. LIST OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

European Central Bank (ECB)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

International Labour Organization (ILO)

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Paris 21 (P21)

Statistical Office of the European Union (EUROSTAT)

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC)

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA)

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)

World Bank (WB)

World Health Organization (WHO)

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

World Trade Organization (WTO)

(UN Website. https://unstats.un.org/unsd/iiss/List-of-International-Organizations.ashx)

3. Individuals

a. CONCEPT

NB: Individuals may become subjects of international law, particularly if it concerns human rights.

b. JURISDICTION

1) Universal jurisdiction

Jus cogens crimes relate to the principle of universal jurisdiction, i.e., “any state may exercise jurisdiction over an individual who commits certain heinous and widely condemned offenses, even when no other recognized basis for jurisdiction exists.” (Bayan Muna v. Romulo, En Banc, G.R. No. 159618, 01 February 2011 citing Jeffrey L. Dunoff et al., International Law: Norms, Actors Process 380 (2d ed., 2006).

2) Rationale

“The rationale behind this principle is that the crime committed is so egregious that it is considered to be committed against all members of the international community” and thus granting every State jurisdiction over the crime. (Ibid.)

4. Others

a. THE HOLY SEE

The Republic of the Philippines has accorded the Holy See the status of a foreign sovereign. The Holy See, through its Ambassador, the Papal Nuncio, has had diplomatic representations with the Philippine government since 1957. (The Holy See v. Rosario, En Banc, G.R. No. 101949, 01 December 1994)

b. COLONY

c. DEPENDENCY

d. MANDATES AND TRUST TERRITORIES

e. BELLIGERENT COMMUNITY

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