1920

AT

Home Missionary Society Claim US v GB American & British Claims arbitration

In 1898 the collection of a tax newly imposed by Great Britain on the natives of the Protectorate of Sierra Leon and known as the ‘hut tax’ was the signal for a serious and widespread revolt in the Rionetta district. In the course of the rebellion all the claimant’s missions were attacked and either destroyed or damaged, and some of the missioners were murdered… the contention of the US before the tribunal was that the revolt was the result of the imposition and attempt to collection of the ‘hut tax’; that it was within the knowledge of the British government that this tax was the object of deep native resentment. That the British government wholly failed to take proper steps for the maintenance of order

It is a well-established principle of international law that no government can be held responsible of the acts of rebellious bodies of men committed in violation of its authority, where it is itself guilty of no breach of good faith. [v. objective responsibility doctrine]