Crime and Court news / Foreign relations / History of Italy

Italian Constitutional Court defies UN Hague Court over German crimes during WWII

 

 

Marshal Albert Kesselring, the German Supreme Commander in Italy.

Solving a prejudicial question submitted by the Florence Court, the Italian Constitutional Court ruled that Germany cannot claim sovereign immunity in Italian Courts in suits related to crimes committed during World War II, despite a judgement by the Hague UN International Court of Justice reaffirming such immunity.

The Constitutional Court, while not questioning the interpretation of international law by the UN Court, applied its own case law, according to which international law cannot be applied in Italy when it violates the supreme principles of the internal constitutional law.

Germany occupied large parts of Italy from 1943 to 1945, and its forces committed many crimes against Jews, Resistance fighters, civilians and what was left of the Italian Armed Forces. The judgement by the Constitutional Court could pave the way to many suits, not only against Germany. Some crimes were committed also by the Allied, in particular the French Expeditionary Corps and the Yugoslav forces sent to annex the Italian provinces in the Balkans.

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