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Jean-Baptiste Caire Claim

5 RIAA 516 (1929)


(French - Mexican Claims Commission)

(Note: Di ko mahanap yung full text nito sa google so pinag mix ko na yung case brief
and annotation ni Bernas, p.230-232, sa book)

DOCTRINE: A state may be held internationally responsible for the unauthorised acts of state
officials, such as the unlawful killing of a foreign national by an army or police officer, where those
officials purported to act in an official capacity and used the means placed at their disposition by
virtue of that capacity

FACTS: On 11 December 1914, M Jean-Baptiste Caire, a French national, who was asked
to obtain a large sum of money by a Major in the Mexican Army. He was unable to obtain a large
sum of money and was subsequently arrested, tortured and killed by soldiers.

France successfully pursed a claim against the Mexican government that was heard by the
French-Mexican Claims Commission which concluded Mexico liable.

ISSUE: Whether Mexico could be responsible for the actions of individual military personnel who
were acting without orders and against the wishes of the commanding officer and independently
of the needs and aims of the revolution.

RATIO: The perpetrators of the murder of MJB Caire were military personnel occupying
occupying the ranks of mayor and captain primero aided by few privates, it is found that the
conditions of responsibility formulated above are completely fulfilled. The officers in question
whatever their previous record, consistently conducted themselves as officers in the brigade of
the Villista General, Tomas Urbina, in this capacity they began by exacting the remittance of
certain sums of money; they continued by having the victim taken into the barracks of the
occupying troops; and it was clearly because of the refusal of M. Caire to meet their repeated
demands that they finally shot him.

Under the circumstances, there remains no doubt that even if they are to be regarded as having
acted outside their competence, which is by no means certain, and even if their superior officers
issued a counter-order, these two officers have involved the responsibility of the State, in view of
the fact that they have acted in their capacity of officers and used the means placed at their
disposition by virtue of that capacity.

RULING: In accordance with the most authoritative doctrine supported by numerous arbitral
awards, the events of 11 Dec 1914, which led to the death of MJB Caire, fall within the category
of acts for which international responsibility devolves upon the State to which the
perpetrators of the injury are amenable.