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

exclusive jurisdiction of the national laws, thereby convey a wrong im- 
pression of Latin American culture and detract from its greatness. The 
American Republics can fully assume their international obligations and 
enter the field of mutual cooperation that forms the basis of modern life. 
Their adherence to the international jurisdiction, sanctioned at the Washing- 
ton Conference in 1929, is conclusive evidence of the fact that they have 
assumed their place in the new community of States. 
(b) With regard to the acts of private citizens the State, as previously 
mentioned, does not afford any guaranties. The functions of the govern- 
ment constitute the enforcement of a set of constructive regulations that 
establish the import and limitations of the acts among the various individu- 
als, determine whether they are licit or illicit, and provide the penalties there- 
for. This is the mission that the States carry out within their territory. 
From the fulfilment of this obligation depends the security and welfare of 
‘ndividuals, no matter where they may be. This is the full extent of the func- 
tions of the State in this regard. When it has fulfilled same within the 
minimum standards usually conceived at each stage of human civilizafion, 
nothing more can be required of the State. The State cannot become 
responsible as an insurer of justice or of the legality of human acts. Its 
obligation consists merely of adopting the most reasonable precautions to 
prevent wrong, consistent with individual freedom, and enforcing proper 
measures to curb the violators of the law. It is usually maintained that if 
the State does not exercise due diligence to prevent the commission of 
wrong, or fails to curb same, it is responsible for the injurious conse- 
quences. Some authorities base this responsibility of the State upon its 
failure to exercise due diligence by using the means available, while others 
base it upon the very fact of having failed to prevent or curb the punishable 
act, as it was its duty so to do. Diplomatic procedure and international 
jurisprudence appear rather inclined towards considering the question of 
guilt in matters of responsibility. The serious incidents of the Serajevo 
assassination, the events at Janina and the Hague conventions bear out this 
statement. The majority of arbitral awards and rulings of mixed claims 
commissions have also, more or less, followed this view. 
The question of guilt or blame has come up since the rulings of the 
mixed claims commissions under the Jay Treaty. The claims of the Jamaica 
and the Elizabeth involve this problem. These cases were in connection with 
the responsibility of a neutral State by reason of the acts performed within 
its jurisdiction by either of the belligerent States in violation of its neutral 
ity. In the first case, the decision was based upon the fact that there was 
no evidence to show that the defendant State had allowed or in any way 
connived at the alleged act, or failed to use all the means at its disposal to 
prevent same. In the Elizabeth case the significance of the phrase “all the

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