On the 5th of March, 3 p.m., Aula I Palazzo Toscanelli, Professor Klabbers, holding the Martti Ahtisaari Chair and Professor of International Law, from the University of Helsinki, and Member of the Council of the PhD in Law at the Scuola, will deliver a lecture on “The Authority of International Organisations: epistemic and otherwise”.
Professor Klabbers is a world leading figure in the law of international organizations and his relations with the Scuola have been strengthening through his scientific collaboration with Gianluigi Palombella, professor of Applied Legal theory and coordinator of the Phd program in Law.


Face to the overwhelming proliferation of international organizations in the global era as specialised, “functional”, authorities, some theoretical issues, such as the justification and structure of this new form of authority, need to be investigated.
The complexity of the enquiry is  illustrated by the dual nature of international organisations: on the one hand, born out of States’ consent or opting-in,  on the other, global actors autonomously and independently imposing their own decisions on a planetary or regional scale.
The issue of their authority is further complicated by the often self-authorized nature of many of them, the absence of political and social accountability,
and the unpredictable reach of their ruling, impinging de facto beyond the states’ borders onto individuals, companies, ordinary citizens.


International organizations are central to a serious legal-political puzzle: these institutions are effectively running the world, yet they have few formal powers to do so: the law-making powers of international organizations, e.g., are very limited. International lawyers have often noticed the puzzle, and posited several explanations for the authority of international organizations, some of limited traction, some little else but re-statements of the problem. In his presentation, Professor Klabbers shall provide a systematic overview of the various ways in which international organizations can exercise authority, and the various attempts to present an answer.

For further information about the event, please download the program below.