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

(a) There are no other positive cases of responsibility on the part of 
the State than those mentioned. Its organs are the only ones that can involve 
it under the circumstances stated. These include, practically, the cases in 
which responsibility arises out of the illicit acts of private individuals. The 
responsibility for such acts might be due to the attitude assumed by the 
State at the time of their commission. The reason why the State is not 
responsible for the wrongful conduct of private individuals does not lie in 
the fact that the person might not be subject to international law, nor be- 
cause he might be deemed incapable of violating its precepts. Such theory 
would be exaggerated and inadmissible. The reason lies in the nature of the 
acts. The acts of State organs are the consequence of their will moved by 
the moral or physical power of the community behind them. In the other 
cases, the individuals themselves are more than capable of committing the 
act without anyone’s instigation. The necessities of justice demand certain 
guaranties in connection with the former, while there are no good reasons 
to require them in the case of the latter. 
From the point of view of the responsibility that the State may incur by 
reason of its attitude in the case of wrongful acts of private individuals, the 
nationality of the wrongdoers is altogether immaterial. The responsibility 
arises out of the duty of the State to preserve order within its territory and 
as regards all its inhabitants. It is possible for an alien subject to commit 
an act against the foreign country in which he resides, or against his own 
country, or against some other State. No responsibility will arise in con- 
nection with the nationality of the perpetrator. For instance, the uprising 
of Venezuelan nationals in a Danish possession, viz., Curagao, which re- 
sulted in acts of violence against the Danish authorities and in the seizure of 
arms from their stores for the purpose of invading the Venezuelan territory 
could not involve the responsibility of the State whose nationals committed 
the act, by reason of their nationality. Any hostile or injurious acts of pri- 
vate individuals against a foreign State may give rise to responsibility only 
in certain cases. This does not cover the entire field of State activities. 
Damage caused by persons, in general, do not give rise to responsibility ex-

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