In the article has been analyzed current system of protection citizen`s lives and safety by state in international public law and decisions of International Courts has been studied.

Key words: state responsibility, compensation, internationally wrongful act.

В статі проаналізовано діючу систему захисту прав громадян державою в міжнародному публічному праві та проаналізовано рішення міжнародних судових інстанцій з даного питання.

Ключові слова: відповідальність держав, компенсація, міжнародно-правовий делікт.

Article 1 of the Articles on State Responsibility prescribes that every internationally wrongful act of a State entails the international responsibility of that State. [2]This principle can be found in some cases concerning state responsibility, such a: the Chorzow Factory Case, the Rainbow Warrior Arbitration. [7, p. 697]

According to the Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts , there are two identified elements of wrongful acts. Firstly, the conduct in question must be attributable to the State under international law. Secondly, for responsibility to attach to the act of the State, the conduct must constitute a breach of an international legal obligation in force for that State at that time. The arbitral tribunal in the “Rainbow Warrior” affair referred to “any violation by a State of any obligation”. [3]

Moreover, the responsible State may not rely on the provisions of its internal law as justification for failure to comply with its obligations under international law, as it is said in the article 32 of the Articles on State Responsibility [2] and according to the principle of international law – ‘nemo esse debet judex in propria causa’.

Draft Articles on State Responsibility and Articles on State Responsibility are customary law as a source of law according to the article 38 of Statute of International Court of Justice. In order to prove that a rule has become a rule of customary law, one must prove two elements: widespread state practice and opinion juris – the mutual conviction that the recurrence is the result of a compulsore rule. Articles on State Responsibility meet with this two requirements. State practice is the objective element, and simply means a sufficient number of states behaving in a regular and repeated manner consistent with the customary norm. Evidence of state practice may include a codifying treaty, if a sufficient number of states sign, ratify, and accede. Opinio juris – is subjective (psychological) element of customary law, it is the conviction of a State that it is following a certain practice as a matter of law and that were it to depart from the practice, some form of sanction would, or ought to, fall on it.

Articles on State Responsibility was adopted by resolution of General Assembly of United Nation, this fact show existence of state practice. Opinio juris can be found in Gabcıkovo–Nagymaros Project case, where ICJ apply this rules.


Article 36 of Articles on State Responsibility deals with compensation for damage caused by an internationally wrongful act, to the extent that such damage is not made good by restitution. The notion of “damage” is defined as any damage whether material or moral. Article 36, paragraph 2, develops this definition by specifying that compensation shall cover any financially assessable damage. The qualification “financially assessable” is intended to exclude compensation for what is sometimes referred to as “moral damage” to a State or citizen. [3]

The International Court of Justice stated in the Gabcıkovo–Nagymaros Project case that it was a “well-established rule of international law that an injured state is entitled to obtain compensation from the state which has committed an internationally wrongful act for the damage caused by it”.[4]

The International Law Commission determines that a state may seek compensation in respect of personal injuries suffered by its nationals, over and above any direct injury it may itself have suffered in relation to the same event. Compensable personal injury encompasses not only associated material losses, such as loss of earnings and earning capacity, medical expenses, but also non-material damage suffered by the individual (“moral damage” in national legal systems). No less than material injury sustained by the injured state, non-material damage is financially assessable and may be the subject of a claim of compensation.[3]

In the “Lusitania” case, Permanent Court of Justice considered that international law provides compensation for mental suffering, injury to feelings, humiliation, shame, degradation, loss of social position or injury to credit and reputation, such injuries being “very real, and the mere fact that they are difficult to measure or estimate by money standards makes them none the less real and affords no reason why the injured person should not be compensated”.[5]

In Ahmadou Sadio Diallo case, Guineas citizen had been arrested and imprisoned without trial by the defendant’s authorities, detained in violation of his fundamental human rights, and his investments, property, and businesses unlawfully expropriated. International Court of Justice found in this circumstances an internationally wrongful act and awarded the Democratic Republic of the Congo to pay compensation to the Republic of Guinea for Diallos mental and moral damage, including injury to his reputation.[1]

Accordingly, if acts of states` organs or other entities attributable to the state constitutes an internationally wrongful act and cause material losses or/and moral damages, another state may get compensation in respect of personal injuries of its nationals.



  1. Ahmadou Sadio Diallo case (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo), Judgment, ICJ, 2012: [Electronic resource]. – Access:
  2. Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, U.N. Doc. A/56/83 (Aug. 3, 2001): [Electronic resource]. – Access:
  3. Draft Articles on Responsibility of States, p.94 : [Electronic resource]. – Access:
  4. Gabcikovo­Nagymaros Project (Hungary v. Slovakia), Judgement, ICJ Reports 1997: [Electronic resource]. – Access: , p.101
  5. Luisitania case (United States v. Germany), PICJ, 1924: [Electronic resource]. – Access:
  6. Rainbow Warrior case (New Zealand v. France), Arbitration Tribunal 1990: [Electronic resource]. – Access:
  7. Shaw, Malcolm N. (Malcolm Nathan) – International law / Malcolm N. Shaw. – Cambridge: 1947, 5th edn. – 1288 p.


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