Features of the UN Security council as a legislative subject

Gabija Grigaitė


For a long time, supporters of traditional international law have not inclined to consider the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a legislative subject due to the very problem of its legitimacy and powers, the lack of legislative resources, the absence of control for the implementation of requirements established in resolutions, and the absence of review of UNSC decisions. However, this tendency is changing and the main purpose of this article is to reveal the features of the UNSC as a legislative subject.
The article analyses the legislative powers of the UNSC, their differences in comparison with legislative subjects under traditional international law. The study argues that the UNSC can be considered to be a subject of international legislation; its legislation is always of compulsory nature, i.e. non-foreseeable and unplaned. This feature of UNSC legislation is predetermined by the authorities of the UNSC, established under chapter VII of the UN Charter and limited to situations of specific threat to international peace and security, jus cogens legal norms and the principle of proportionality.
Nevertheless, the resulting impact of a UNSC resolution, as an international legislative act, has certain deficiencies. As resolutions are often formulated through arduously negotiated political compromise, the wording thereof is ambiguous, often reserving the right of discretion for member nations to define certain concepts on the level of national law. Consequently, the mechanism for the equal implementation of resolution requirements suffers, providing member states with an excuse for justifying delays in taking action on the national level. This practice among member states of delaying national action puts the legitimacy of the UNSC further into doubt, whose credibility is already in question for the fact that membership in the Council is based on a system of limited representation, which, if the UNSC is to be considered a legislative subject, would contradict the very principle of international law that international law be created solely on the basis of common will of nations.


international legislation; legislative subject; Security Council

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236