Erkenning van internationale rechtspersonen in het Nederlandse privaatrecht

L.C.J. Apeldoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article examines the grounds for the recognition of the legal personality of international legal persons in Dutch private law, focussing in particular on foreign states and international organizations. Based on an analysis of the decision of the Dutch Hoge Raad (Supreme Court) in UNRRA/Daan, it is argued that the legal personality of international organizations is recognised by means of the (analogous) application of a rule, codified in Article 10:119 of the Dutch Civil Code, according to which the legal personality of a corporation depends on its personal law. When considering the personal law of international organisations, which is public international law including the terms of the founding treaty, decisive is not whether the organisation is an international legal person, but whether it is granted, on the basis of public international law, legal personality in the legal orders of its member states. The rule governing the recognition of the legal personality of international organisations is not applicable to foreign states because public international law does not imply or require that states are afforded legal personality in municipal law. Rather, it is argued, the legal personality of foreign states is recognised on the basis of an unwritten rule of Dutch private international law, originating in international comity, that attributes legal personality to foreign states. The application of this rule coincides in practice with the application of another rule also originating in comity, requiring as a matter of public international law that foreign states are granted standing to be party to legal proceedings before municipal courts.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)274-291
Number of pages18
JournalNederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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