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Religious Actors and International Law$
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Ioana Cismas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712824

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712824.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 July 2021

The Holy See-Vatican State-Like Construct

The Holy See-Vatican State-Like Construct

(p.153) 4 The Holy See-Vatican State-Like Construct
Religious Actors and International Law

Ioana Cismas

Oxford University Press

The Holy See claims a dual personality in international law, as the government of the Vatican and separately as the government of the Catholic Church. This creates a situation where it can avail itself of the privileges of statehood, but may choose when it complies with a state’s obligations. The chapter advances a new argument, that of a Holy See-Vatican construct, with a single international personality grounded in two sources: international custom (religious legitimacy) and the Lateran Treaty (resemblance of statehood). In settling the personality question and clarifying the rights and obligations of the actor, the chapter relies on legal positivism, the examination of diplomatic practice, and jurisprudential analysis. By exploring the obligations of the Holy See-Vatican under human rights law in relation to clerical child sexual abuse, it illustrates that these obligations are not different in nature from those of other states, whereas their extraterritorial applicability is more relevant.

Keywords:   Holy See, Vatican, legal personality, dual personality, construct, statehood, child sexual abuse

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