Israel in Lebanon
The Report of the International
Commission to enquire into reported
violations of International Law by
Israel during its invasion of the Lebanon
Legal Status of Liberation Movements
The right to self-determination is a recognition of the collective national entity which is accorded rights under the Charter and under international law. The recognition of the rights of a people is equally important as it presupposes that such rights will be or can be pursued through the instrument of a public body known as a national liberation movement and that the struggle itself is thereby accorded a legal status in international law .
The consequences of this evolution of the law are far-reaching because it represents an important movement away from the old view under which international law rights pertain only to States and Governments and not to groups of individuals. Liberation movements recognised by the United Nations have, therefore, the capacity of existence at the level of international law as they are the legally prescribed instruments for the vindication of the right of self-determination. Without such a recognition, the right to resistance, which must be connected with a viable entity and accompanying political institutions, is devoid of meaning.
The creative development of international law in support of the rights of subject peoples fighting against colonialism, racism and alien domination shows that international law adopts empirical tests as far as personality is concerned and the early statement of the Secretary-General of the UN that, ‘Practice has abandoned the doctrine that States are exclusive subjects of international rights and obligations’, has been upheld by subsequent practice concerning national liberation movements.
In jurisprudential terms, this development has had extraordinary effect. ‘Colonial’ issues are removed from the restrictions of the domestic jurisdiction clause of the Charter (Article 2 (7