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A phrase used in International Law to describe retaliatory action taken by one foreign government against another for the stringent or harsh regulation or treatment of its citizens who are within the geographical boundaries of the foreign country.
The typical methods of retorsion are the use of comparably severe measures against citizens of the foreign nation found within the borders of the retaliating nation.
RETORSION, war. The name of the act employed by a government to impose the
same hard treatment on the citizens or subjects of a state, that the latter
has used towards the citizens or subjects of the former, for the purpose of
obtaining the removal of obnoxious measures. Vattel, liv. 2, c. 18, Sec.
341; De Martens, Precis, liv. 8, c. 2, Sec. 254; Kluber, Droit dos Gens, s.
2 c. 1, Sec. 234; Mann. Comm. 105.
2. Retorsion signifies also the act by which an individual returns to his adversary evil for evil; as, if Peter call Paul thief, and Paul says you are a greater thief.