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Forty years ago, Ernst Freund, in an article which is still fundamental to the subject, stated: A tort committed in the exercise of governmental functions creates no private cause of action against the state; where a liability is demanded by justice, it must be created by statute. A tort committed in connection with private relations should give rise to a corresponding civil liability, with such statutory exceptions as may be dictated by public policy. This is not the recognized law, but seems to be demanded on general principles. After nearly ten years of effort, the Committees on Claims of the two houses of Congress, with the co-operation of the law officers of the several executive departments, finally have worked out a bill2 which, if passed, will carry into effect the principles of a just and sound public policy advocated by Ernst Freund in 1893. In the light of this revolutionary, although long over-due, development, which probably only budgetary considerations of the moment can deter from early enactment into law, it may be appropriate to signalize the event as something of a memorial to the farsighted sagacity and the public services of Ernst Freund.
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Ernst Freund, Howell-Collins bill, Public Health, Panama Canal, Coolidge
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