The Position of Foreign States before National Courts: Chiefly in Continental Europe

By Eleanor Wyllys Allen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE COURTS AND FOREIGN STATE-OWNED PROPERTY

IN France, there being no suits in rem, suits arising from the use of government-owned property may be assimilated to other suits against foreign states, and the treatment of the property per se considered only in regard to its liability to seizure either as cautio judicatum solvi or in execution of a judgment rendered against a state although perhaps arising from circumstances entirely unconnected with the use of the property. Such a division reflects the common distinction between "la jurisdiction" and "l'exécution." On the other hand, a classification based on the independent treatment of all actions arising in connection with property--especially means of transportation--in conjunction with a consideration of execution and attachment offers some advantages, especially to those familiar with suits in rem, where the nature and use of the property as well as its ownership may be of decisive importance.

From the national point of view, the attitude of the courts towards the French state as a carrier reflects the growing tendency to extend the jurisdiction of the judicial courts at the expense of the administrative tribunals. This is evidenced not only by the more recent decisions of the judicial courts but by those of the administrative tribunals as well.1 The old notion that any liability which may devolve upon the state for injury caused to individuals as the result of acts of persons in its employ in public service escapes the competence of the ordinary courts and lies within that of the administrative authorities2 has given way to the realization that in the

Attitude of Courts to French Government

____________________
1
Cf. note by G. Ripert, Revue Internationale du Droit Maritime, XXXIII ( 1922), 762.
2
Commercial Tribunal of Marseilles, June 29, 1915, Dalloz, 1920-2-121; Revue Internationale du Droit Martime, XXX ( 1915-17), 367.

-175-

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