UN territorial administrations : between international humanitarian law and human rights law
Research handbook on human rights and humanitarian law
Cheltenham ; Northampton : E. Elgar, 2013
The international administration of territories is the performance by an international organization of government functions in a territory, both when it involves all the sectors that comprise the State government (executive, legislative, judicial) and when it involves only a part of them. The key element is given by the fact that the ‘last word’ is up to the international organization rather than to the sovereign territorial or local government institutions, if any. As a result, an international territorial administration is not realized when an international organization does not exercise powers of government over a territory, but has only the tasks of supervision, assistance or support to the functioning of public institutions of a State or territory. The international administration of territories had gained new momentum at the end of the 1990s, when the United Nations (UN) created some operations with such a mandate. The exercise of governmental powers by the territorial administrations is limited by the mandate received, and by the rules of international law. The purpose of this study is precisely to determine whether the rules of IHL and those of HRL are applicable in respect of the territorial administrations. Hence it will be necessary to consider also if the control mechanisms included in some international agreements on human rights protection are able to operate with respect to violations that have been carried out within the territorial administrations.