Non-State Actors from the Perspective of the Pure Theory of Law
PARTICIPANTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGAL SYSTEM, Jean d’Aspremont ed.,Theoretical Perspectives, 2010
8 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2010 Last revised: 24 Mar 2010
Date Written: March 23, 2010
This paper looks at the concept of legal personality from the Pure Theory of Law's theoretical vantage point. This theory will be applied to the debate on non-state actors in international law. In the following, we will proceed in three steps: first, we will present how the Pure Theory constructs legal personality on a purely legal-normativistic basis; second, the general jurisprudential construct will be applied to international law; third, we will re-state the Pure Theory’s case with respect to non-state actors. Kelsen’s construction of the concept of legal personality, particular in international law and the attendant removal of non-legal or pre-legal elements that adhere to many doctrines - such as the traditional notion of sovereignty as absolute pre-legal power of the state - and their reduction to the legal core (sovereignty as a function granted to states by international law) has the salutary effect to show the positive law in force and unmask myths that needlessly complicate international legal doctrine.
Keywords: Legal personality, Hans Kelsen, Non-State Actors, Sovereignty
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