Monday, May 10, 2010

What Liability for Fake Passports?

A senior Hamas figure, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, was killed in Dubai earlier this year.  His alleged assassins are 11 persons who traveled to Dubai using the following passports:

  • United Kingdom (6 passport holders)
  • Ireland (3)
  • Germany (1)
  • France (1)

The British and Irish governments said that the passports appeared to be fake.  See, e.g., Andrew England, Passports Faked in Hamas Killing, Financial Times, Feb. 17, 2010, at 2.  What should be the liability of one country to another when its agents use false passports?  It sounds to me like the issue might be something to include in a moot court problem.


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It sure is an interesting issue, but the liability of a nation cannot be expected to be more than what it is for the actions of non-state actors working. The issue of liability for fake passports is not a simple one as a lot depends on the factual matrix and questions like 'can negligence be attributed to the government for issuing the passport on fake records' or 'were the fake passports made even after due diligence being shown by the government in preventing any forgery' need to be answered.

Posted by: pradnya talekar | May 11, 2010 3:28:48 AM

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