Even though the Holy See is widely described in the literature as a sui generis subject whose international personality is independent from territorial control, its international status is wholly conflated with that of States in multiple legal settings – such as the United Nations, where it enjoys the status of «observer State», and the realm of jurisdictional immunity, where national and international courts have often granted to it the same immunity enjoyed by foreign States. This contribution re-examines the international legal status of the Holy See and the soundness of its wholesale equation with States. It first demonstrates that, while the Holy See as a religious organization may validly be considered as a sui generis international legal entity, this peculiar legal status falls short of statehood. It then discusses whether State-like treatment may be justified by the existence of the Vatican City State. In this regard, it puts forward three main arguments. Firstly, the Holy See and the Vatican City do not separately meet the criteria of statehood but do meet such criteria if considered jointly – i.e. where the former is regarded as the government of the latter, namely the Vatican territory. Secondly, the Holy See and the Vatican City do not possess distinct legal personalities but constitute one legal entity on the international plane. Lastly and consequently, the Holy See should be conceptualized as combining the functions of a sui generis international legal entity and of a full-fledged State: it is the former whenever it acts as the governing authority of the Catholic Church and the latter whenever it acts as the government of the Vatican City.

Status internazionale della Santa Sede e categorie della statualità / Rossi, Pierfrancesco. - In: LA COMUNITÀ INTERNAZIONALE. - ISSN 0010-5066. - LXXVII:1(2022), pp. 75-99.

Status internazionale della Santa Sede e categorie della statualità

Rossi, Pierfrancesco
2022

Abstract

Even though the Holy See is widely described in the literature as a sui generis subject whose international personality is independent from territorial control, its international status is wholly conflated with that of States in multiple legal settings – such as the United Nations, where it enjoys the status of «observer State», and the realm of jurisdictional immunity, where national and international courts have often granted to it the same immunity enjoyed by foreign States. This contribution re-examines the international legal status of the Holy See and the soundness of its wholesale equation with States. It first demonstrates that, while the Holy See as a religious organization may validly be considered as a sui generis international legal entity, this peculiar legal status falls short of statehood. It then discusses whether State-like treatment may be justified by the existence of the Vatican City State. In this regard, it puts forward three main arguments. Firstly, the Holy See and the Vatican City do not separately meet the criteria of statehood but do meet such criteria if considered jointly – i.e. where the former is regarded as the government of the latter, namely the Vatican territory. Secondly, the Holy See and the Vatican City do not possess distinct legal personalities but constitute one legal entity on the international plane. Lastly and consequently, the Holy See should be conceptualized as combining the functions of a sui generis international legal entity and of a full-fledged State: it is the former whenever it acts as the governing authority of the Catholic Church and the latter whenever it acts as the government of the Vatican City.
Status internazionale della Santa Sede e categorie della statualità / Rossi, Pierfrancesco. - In: LA COMUNITÀ INTERNAZIONALE. - ISSN 0010-5066. - LXXVII:1(2022), pp. 75-99.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/220739
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