Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy)

International Court of Justice, The HagueIn its Application of 22 December 2008 instituting proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Germany asserted that Italy, through its judicial practice, “infringed... its obligations towards Germany under international law.” Germany contends that since 2004 “Italian judicial bodies have repeatedly disregarded the jurisdictional immunity of Germany as a sovereign State.”

The Application follows the judgement of the Corte di Cassazione on 11 March 2004 in the Ferrini case where the Italian court declared that Italy held jurisdiction with regard to a claim brought by a person who had been deported to Germany during World War II.

Since that judgement, Germany affirmed that “numerous other proceedings” were instigated against it before Italian courts by people who had also suffered injury as a consequence of World War II.

Germany asked the ICJ to declare that the “Italian Republic must take … all steps to ensure that in the future Italian courts do not entertain legal actions against Germany” by allowing civil claims based on violations of international humanitarian law by the German Reich during World War II.

As the basis for the jurisdiction of the Court, Germany invokes Article 1 of the European Convention for the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes adopted by members of the Council of Europe in 1957.

Research/ miscellaneous (Research Document)
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