Germany Challenges Italian WWII Forced Labor Claims Before the ICJ

by Roger Alford

Germany has sued Italy before the ICJ challenging successful Italian lawsuits that have denied Germany’s sovereign immunity arising out of World War II forced labor claims. The ICJ press release is here. Here is Germany’s key argument:

“In recent years, Italian judicial bodies have repeatedly disregarded the jurisdictional immunity of Germany as a sovereign State. The critical stage of that development was reached by the judgment of the Corte di Cassazione of 11 March 2004 in the Ferrini case, where [that court] declared that Italy held jurisdiction with regard to a claim . . . brought by a person who during World War II had been deported to Germany to perform forced labour in the armaments industry. After this judgment had been rendered, numerous other proceedings were instituted against Germany before Italian courts by persons who had also suffered injury as a consequence of the armed conflict.” The Ferrini judgment having been recently confirmed “in a series of decisions delivered on 29 May 2008 and in a further judgment of 21 October 2008”, Germany “is concerned that hundreds of additional cases may be brought against it.”

http://opiniojuris.org/2008/12/30/germany-challenges-italian-wwii-forced-labor-claims-before-the-icj/

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