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International Organizations and Foreign States: Participants in Civil Law Relations in Russia

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For more content, see Review of Socialist Law.

The author examines the legal status of international organizations and foreign states in trade and commerce in the Russian Federation. The specifi c issues which are touched upon by the author include general problems of the participation of public entities—such as international organizations as legal persons and the immunity of foreign states and international organizations—in civil law relations. The author concludes that domestic legislation should not be considered to be the only source of law for regulating private international relations involving states; practice illustrates that international treaties are also a source of such rules and regulations.

Special attention in this article is devoted to characteristic features of the legal personality of international organizations, the sources of law regulating relations in which international organizations participate, the role of domestic law and internal rules of international organization itself, the various aspects of the legal capacity of international organizations as subjects of Russian civil law including agreements involving international organizations, the legal status of their separate divisions, issues relating to the property rights of international organization, and the civil law status of representatives of foreign states attached to international organizations (and their civil servants).

The legal base for this research is formed by international treaties, the charters and internal rules of international organizations, and rules of Russian civil legislation as well as decisions of Russian and international judicial bodies.

By way of conclusion, the author postulates that it is wise for domestic (and foreign) natural and legal persons, which enter into relations with the international organizations and foreign states, to take into consideration the specifi c nature of the above-mentioned subjects. In practice, this may result in dismissal of a plaintiff 's claim in a RF court where the defendant is an international organization or foreign state. It may thereby be impossible to hold such an organization or state civilly liable (without its consent) for breaching a contractual undertaking.


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