The Chorzow Factory Case (1928, Germany v Poland)

The Chorzow Factory Case (1928, Germany v Poland)

Principle: It is a general principle of law  as well as International law, that any breach of agreement creates an obligation to make reparation.

Fact: There was an agreement between Germany and Poland and that bilateral treaty was known as the Geneva Upper Silesia convention 1922. It had been provided in that treaty that on transfer of sovereignty of certain territories from Germany to Poland after the 1st world war, existing proprietary right were to be maintained except that the Polish Government was granted a right of expropriation under certain condition with respects of all property belonging to German nationals in Upper Silesia. The present dispute arose when Poland seized to companies there in breach of its international obligation under the Upper Silesia convention of 1922. The Germany demanded compensation from the Poland.


  1. Whether a state can be held responsible for expropriation of alien property.
  2. Whether a state can be made responsible at International Law, for acts of Government organs or officers
  3. Whether it is a basic rule of international law that reparation is to be made for violations of international law

Decision: The reparation of wrong may consist in an indemnity corresponding to the damage which is contrary of International Law. Right or interests of an individual the violation of which rights cause damages are always in a different plain to rights belonging to a state, which rights may also be infringed by the same act.

Reasoning: The action of Poland was not expropriation in its real sense, it was rather a seizure of property, right and interest which could not be expropriated even against compensation, save under the special conditions fixed by Art. 7 of the Upper Silesia convention of 1922. in doing so, therefore, Poland acted contrary to its obligations. It is general principle of international law and even a general concept of law that a breach of an agreement involves a duty to make reparation. Reparation is the expendable complement of a failure to apply a convention and there is no necessity for this to be stated in the convention itself. This case is one of an unlawful expropriation and in such cases expropriating sates must in addition to paying the compensation due in respect of lawful expropriation, pay also damages for any loss continued by the injured party.

Rayhanul Islam

Legal activist & Practitioner - Editor - Researcher - Learner; A person who uses Logic & Law as his tool where psychology & Philosophy plays a role, he is on a quest to bring positive change to the legal sector of Bangladesh. He works as a lawyer and promotes legal knowledge and human right concept to the root level. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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2 Responses

  1. Nicodem Mabala says:

    Good presentation

  2. ahmed kemal husein says:

    thank you, i have got the reasoning made by tribunal from your site

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