The Security Council as Global Legislator


  • DATE / TIME:
    2014•10•10    16:00 - 17:15

    On 10 October 2014, the UNU Library will host the launch of the book “The Security Council as Global Legislator” (Vesselin Popovski and Trudy Fraser, eds.; Routledge, 2014).

    The UN Security Council’s decisions are legally binding on all UN Member States, effectively complementing obligations under conventional international law, agreed in treaties or as customs between states. The Security Council, therefore, acts as a global “legislator” in addition to a global “policeman’ (two roles clearly separated in domestic constitutionalism).

    There have been quantitative and qualitative shifts in the Council’s activity since the end of the cold war: historically, the Council addressed specific country situations, defining threats to the peace and adopting measures to mitigate or, ideally, eliminate these threats; more recently the Council, in parallel with country-specific situations, started discussions on issues of global concerns — terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, children in armed conflict, protection of civilians, piracy, climate change — and adopted thematic resolutions addressing global threats. To what extent do the thematic resolutions represent a legislative standard-setting contribution? Are the thematic resolutions useful for the maintenance of international peace and security?

    This book demonstrates how the Council can create an entirely new “hard” law (non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and non-state actors; jurisdiction of international criminal tribunals), but also how the Council can address a variety of “soft” security issues and build up important “soft” power in the international constitutional system.

    The speaker will be Dr. Vesselin Popovski (co-editor of the book), Senior Academic Officer, UNU-IAS.

    Dr. David Malone, UNU Rector, will serve as commentator.

    The launch will be chaired by Dr. Sukehiro Hasegawa, Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste.

    This Library Talk is open to the public and will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided.

    If you wish to attend, please contact the UNU Library by email (, phone (03-5467-1359) or fax (03-5467-1360) by Wednesday, 8 October 2014.


    UNU Headquarters Building, Tokyo