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36 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 529 (1998)
The United Nations Charter As Constitution of the International Community

handle is hein.journals/cjtl36 and id is 535 raw text is: The United Nations Charter
As Constitution of
The International Community
BARDO FASSBENDER*
The Charter of the United Nations (the Charter) was brought
into existence in the form of an international treaty. In the
course of the last fifty years, however, the constitutional
predisposition of the Charter has been confirmed and
strengthened in such a way that today the instrument must be
referred to as the constitution of the international commu-
nity. In this Article, the Author suggests that the Charter is
the constitution of the international community in its entirety,
i.e., in all subjects of international law, and that such an
understanding of the Charter has significant repercussions
for its legal status, interpretation, amendment, and possible
future reform. The Article first discusses how the concept of
a constitution has been used with regard to the modern state.
The Author next presents writers who have made consistent
use of constitutional models in international law. The
Article then explains why the concept of a constitution can be
applied to bodies other than states and discusses the rela-
tionship between the international community and an
international constitution. Next, the Article distinguishes the
constitutional law of the international community from
general international law, jus cogens, and obligations
erga omnes. Finally, the Author outlines a number of
consequences of the constitutional approach with particular
emphasis placed on the admission and expulsion of members.
I.  INTRODUCTION  ...................................    531
I.   CONSTITUTION AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH THE MODERN
STATE  ..........................................    532
* Lecturer in Law, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. Many ideas set out in this
article are elaborated on in the author's forthcoming book U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM
AND THE RIGHT OF VETO: A CONSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVE, to be published by Kluwer Law
International, The Hague. If not otherwise indicated, translations are provided by the author.

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