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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations

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International Legal Personality and Its Treaty-Making Power

image of International Organizations Law Review

This article investigates how ASEAN acquires its international legal personality and exercises its treaty-making capacity. It, first, traces the evolution of ASEAN’s international legal personality and treaty-making practice in three successive periods in ASEAN’s pre-Charter development from 1967 until 2007. It then examines the formal conferral of ASEAN’s legal personality in 2007; analyses the content and implications of the 2011 Rules of Procedure for the Conclusion of International Agreements by ASEAN; and examines ASEAN’s treaty-making practice in the post-Charter era. It argues that ASEAN had a limited international legal personality and treaty-making capacity even prior to the adoption of the ASEAN Charter in 2007. While the Charter represents a critical juncture in ASEAN’s legal evolution, ASEAN’s exercise of its international legal personality and treaty-making capacity since then remains limited due to many institutional and procedural constraints.

Affiliations: 1: Senior Research Fellow, Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore,


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