1) What is State Responsibility?

            Every State has certain obligations under International Law. A State has a capacity to perform totality of rights and duties under the International law. Rights and duties of the States are correlated with each other. A right of one State is Duty of another State. In case a State violates its duties as provided by the rule of International Law, it becomes responsible for the other State having corresponding rights as provided by the rule of Internationa Law. State Responsibility may incur during the time of peace or even during the time of war. The responsibility of State may be Direct or Indirect. The aggrieved party (State) has a right to claim compensation from other State.

2) Law of State Responsibility 

      According to Starke. " the rules of International Law as to state responsibility concern the circumstances in which, and the principles whereby, the Injured State becomes entitled to redress for the damage suffered." 

     The law relating to State Responsibility is in a developing State and probably it may be developed to a stages wherein states may be held responsible for the violation of International Law and International Crimes. The State responsibility during the war has been generally accepted in Article 5 of the Hague Convention, 1907.  It provides that if a belligerent state violates rules of war, it shall be responsible for the payment of Compensation. It shall also be responsible for all acts committed by persons forming part of its armed forces.


3) Kinds of State Responsibility 

 There are two kinds of State Responsibility one is Direct State Responsibility and another is Indirect State Responsibility. State Responsibility may incur in two ways either by the act of the State or by the act of Individual. The responsibility of the state for its own act is called as original responsibility or direct responsibility. and the responsibility for the acts other than its own is called as vicarious or indirect responsibility

I) Direct Responsibility 

     Direct Responsibility means the responsibility of the state for its own act is called as original responsibility or direct responsibility.
   A state is a legal person and it performs its function through different organs and Agencies, and if any wrong act is done by any one of them, the state becomes responsible directly on their behalf. The organs and agencies of the state includes the following -

a) Executive and administrative organs -  

          When an act causing injury to another State is committed by the head of the Government of a State or an official or other individuals, commanded or authorized by the head of government, a state becomes responsible for their acts. Some Jurist of International Law called this act as "International delinquency". Thus International delinquency may be caused by the by the higher authorities or by subordinate officers and employees if they have been, commanded or authorized by the former. however, the responsibility of the state for both of them will be the same.

b) Acts of judiciary - 

            Judiciary is independent under International Law but if the Court gives any such judgment which is contrary to International or obligations of the State then a State is responsible.

c) Acts of members of armed forces -

          A state shall be responsible for all injuries acts of members of its armed forces if the act has been commanded or authorized by the State. But if the act is committed by the members of its armed forces in the exercise of their official functions without the command or authorization of the state it is not regarded as to state act and such act state is not responsible for such act.

d) Diplomatic representatives -

             Diplomatic representatives enjoy immunities in the state where they are sent and are excluded from the jurisdiction of the receiving state for their acts but a State becomes responsible for those injuries acts which are performed by them are the command or the authorization of his home state.

e) Constituent units of Federal States -

             It is a fundamental principle of international law that a federal state is responsible for the wrongful act of its constituent units. A federal state cannot throw away its responsibility by alleging that its constitutional power of control over them are insufficient.

II) Indirect State Responsibility 

                 Indirect State Responsibility means the responsibility for the acts other than its own is called as vicarious or indirect responsibility.

           Indirect state responsibility is an obligation of the state to prevent its own subject as well as foreign subject living within its territory from committing such acts which may cause injury to another State. If any wrongful act is done by an individual or group of individuals, a State to which they belong is held responsible for their acts. Such responsibility is called indirect responsibility. According to Oppenheim "if State has not exercised due diligence, it can be made responsible and held liable to pay damages(Compensation)".

For example -

          Crime against foreign sovereign or Ambassadors, Offences to the flag of foreign State., Injurious propaganda directed against a foreign State.
          State responsibility arises only when the organ of the state have not exercise sufficient care in preventing the offense.

a) State responsibility for the acts of mob violence -   

             A state is responsible for the harm caused to the aliens by mob violence only when it has not made due diligence to prevent it. This Principal is uncertain ambiguous because "due diligence" to prevent mob violence depends upon the time, to act and circumstances. If the alien person is some officer of the foreign country then the state responsibility is more. The responsibility of state also extends to officers or servant or the International Organisation. 

  b) State responsibility for the act of insurgents -

              It is the responsibility of the State to try to prevent the violent act of revolutionaries. According to Fenwick, State Responsibility for the act of insurgent is different from state responsibility for the acts of mob violence. Calvo Doctrine has reference to state responsibility for the acts of insurgents.

See also   

Amicable (Peaceful) and coercive modes of settlement of International disputes


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