Full text: Responsibility of states for damage caused in their territory to the person or property of foreigners

(a) In the Bases of Discussion of the Preparatory Committee, the 
damages caused by the legislative or executive organs in connection with 
contractual relations, or by violence or attempts of the authorities against 
personal liberty, are deemed to belong in a special category. It is explained 
that damages caused by rebellions, civil wars or riots should be given special 
consideration, inasmuch as the circumstances under which they are caused 
should have some bearing upon the proper rules applicable. This is not the 
case, of course, as regards imprisonment, deportation and other action 
usually taken against aliens. These might be either authorized acts under 
the municipal law, or illicit acts while performing official functions in accord- 
ance with such law. However, from the international point of view, these 
acts should be in no wise considered different from all the other acts of either 
competent or incompetent authorities. The rules to which they are subject 
are very well known. Likewise, the cases which, for special reasons involv- 
ing a denial of justice or extraordinary injustice, become the subject of 
international cognizance, as well as all the other activities of the State 
organs. Consequently, there is no special reason to place any of these acts 
in any particular group or category. To do so would establish a tendency 
towards class regulation, a system that is most undesirable in codification 
(b) The cases of ex comtractu responsibility are, however, different 
from the others mentioned, inasmuch as they involve contractual relations 
between the State and private individuals. There have been instances in 
which financial conditions have been interposed, or coercion exercised by 
powerful nations against their inferiors. This fact has given contractual 
relations between the State and private individuals special prominence in the 
history of international jurisprudence, and has invested them with a certain 
peculiar characteristic. It is for this reason that various doctrines have 
been advanced for the classification of these contracts, and others purport 
to explain why certain ones, according to the opinion of some authorities, 
should be excluded from the general principles that govern the obligations 
undertaken by the State.

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