Towards a theory of variable personality : a study with reference to the Palestinian situation.
This thesis is primarily concerned with the question of personality in international law. In order to assessp ersonality the vehicles of the Palestinian situation and representation of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are used. Therefore at points in the study each dominates in order to further the overall thesis. The study looks beyond the jaded constitutive/declaratory debate regarding recognition
and personality and examines recent state practice, which sheds further light on the issue. A flexible approach to personality is taken and it is asserted that the best description of the process of recognition and achievement of status for both emerging states and representative groups is that an entity's status can be variable: variable in an evolutionary sense, in relation to the range of responses which the international
community may have and also in relation to status on the international stage. Thus an entity may operate with different degrees of status at any one point in time depending
on with whom and what circumstances are in question.
This theory is then examined in relation to the Palestinian situation. The progression of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian Authority on the world stage
is investigated through, inter alia, their relationships with other states and international organisations. The variability theory asserted above appears to be borne out in the
Palestinian context which leads on to questions of what broader implications this may have for other areas of international law.
Two subject areas are then discussed in relation to the implications of the theory of variable personality. First, the concept of responsibility which has traditionally been
adopted in relation to states rather than other entities on the international stage. Second, the protection of the rights of those placed under the jurisdiction of an entity with
variable levels of personality, noting that this is also an issue which is generally dealt with at a state level. In each examination the Palestinian situation is drawn upon to
provide concrete examples of the possible problems which may arise for other areas of international law due to the theory of variable personality. Examples of ways in which those issues could be reconciled are also considered. Lastly, both subject areas provide further important conclusions in relation to the assertion that personality may be variable.