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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Germany v. Italy:
Greece intervening
(case 36)
Clarence Jude B. Ramirez & John Ezra G. Villar
1G
Legal Writing
FACTS
• Between 2004 and 2008, Italian courts had issued a number of
judgments in which plaintiffs, victims of war crimes and crimes
against humanity by the German Reich during WWII, were
awarded damages against Germany.
• Germany filed an application instituting proceedings against
Italy before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), arguing
that “Italian judicial bodies have repeatedly disregarded the
jurisdictional immunity of Germany as a sovereign State", thus
violating international law.
• Greece joined the proceedings as one of the Italian judgments
concerned a declaration of enforceability by an Italian court of
a Greek judgment that ordered Germany to pay compensation
to victims of the Distomo massacre (in Greece).
Arguments of the
Parties
Italy Germany
On the reparation, the Villa Germany raised that Italy has violated
Vigoni, and the Greek courts the jurisdictional immunity which
Germany enjoys under international
decisions, Italy contended that law by allowing civil claims based on
its courts had been entitled to violations of international
deny immunity to Germany humanitarian law by the German Reich
because of the combined effect between 1943 and 1945.
of the three following reasons.

First, Italy contends that the acts Germany raised that Italy has violated
which gave rise to the claims the jurisdictional immunity which
Germany enjoys under international
constituted serious violations of law by allowing civil claims based on
the principles of international violations of international
law applicable to the conduct of humanitarian law by the German Reich
armed conflict, amounting to between 1943 and 1945.
war crimes and crimes against
humanity.
Italy Germany
Secondly, Italy maintains that Germany states that Italy it has further
the rules of international law breached Germany’s jurisdictional
immunity by declaring enforceable in
thus contravened were Italy decisions of Greek civil courts
peremptory norms (jus cogens). rendered against Germany on the basis
of acts similar to those which gave rise
to the claims brought before Italian
courts.

Thirdly, Italy argues that the


claimants having been denied all
other forms of redress, the
exercise of jurisdiction by the
Italian courts was necessary as a
matter of last resort.
Germany’s sought remedies
Germany requested an express declaration in the operative clause
that Italy’s international responsibility is engaged.

Germany raised that Italy by enacting appropriate legislation, or


by resorting to other methods of its choosing, ensure that the
decisions of its courts and those of other judicial authorities
infringing the immunity which the Federal Republic of Germany
enjoys under international law cease to have effect;
Lastly, Germany asks the Court to order Italy to take any and all
steps to ensure that in the future, Italian courts do not entertain
legal actions against Germany founded on the occurrences
described in its first submission.
ISSUE
• Whether or not the combination of the three reasons raised
by Italy could deny immunity to Germany on the cases.
DECISION
• The Court states that it has determined that none of the three
strands of the second Italian argument would, of itself, justify the
action of the Italian courts. It is not persuaded that they would have
that effect if taken together

• The Court held that Italy Republic has violated its obligation to
respect the immunity of Germany on the cases that was in question.
However, on the international humanitarian law violations, However,
it was emphasized that it says nothing about individual criminal
responsibility and the possibility to deny individual immunity.

• However, the Court does not uphold how Italy’s courts should take
the steps to ensure that future Italian courts do not entertain legal
actions against Germany on the occurrences of violations of
international humanitarian law committed by the German Reich
between 1943 and 1945.