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

(a) The cases of responsibility arising out of the acts or omissions of 
governmental organs and public officials are, of course, the most numerous 
in international jurisprudence. There are considerable differences in the 
practices of the various governments and in the decisions of the arbitrators 
and mixed claims commissions. It would be well to consider: first, cases 
involving responsibility for acts of competent officials who have discharged 
their duties in pursuance of the law; or have exceded their authority; or in 
any way infringed the provisions of the municipal law to the detriment of 
alien subjects; second, acts which are not within the scope of official duty, 
but personal acts which involve, therefore, merely personal responsibility of 
the officer under the municipal law; third, cases of the same nature as the 
last mentioned ones, but which, by their characteristics or apparent relation- 
ship to the functions of public office, may be similar, under certain circum- 
stances, to public acts proper; fourth, cases in which there is no bad faith 
on the part of the government officials, or in respect of which the national 
authorities have adopted proper measures, and the State is thus relieved of 
all responsibility ; and fifth, finally, all cases of common responsibility which 
assume international character through the fault of the State or denial of 
administrative justice. 
(b) Responsibility might also arise directly between two States. These 
cases come up, for instance, in territorial encroachments; or violation of 
treaty provisions; or disregard for the rights of a neutral State; or lack 
of due respect to diplomatic organs; and, generally speaking, in all cases in 
which the injury has not been inflicted upon individuals, but upon the foreign 
community as an entity, or in its national character as a member of the 
Family of Nations. International jurisprudence has, indeed, numerous 
cases involving this type of responsibility, which is termed “immediate 
responsibility”, because the facts upon which it is based establish, at the 
onset, a question between two powers. A distinction has to be drawn, how- 
ever, between immediate and objective responsibility. It does not arise out 
of all injurious acts. There are instances in international procedure in

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