Germany files case against Italy at UN top court over WWII repatriation

Germany has filed a lawsuit against Italy at the United Nations (U.N.) top court in a long-running dispute over World War II reparations. The International Court of Justice(ICJ) declared about the filing on late Friday, April 29.

The German case links back to the earlier ruling made by the United Nations court in 2012, in which it has been confirmed that Germany has legal immunity from being sued in foreign courts by victims of Nazi atrocities.

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Moreover, the ruling states that Italy’s Supreme Court disregarded Germany’s sovereignty in 2008 by judging that an Italian civilian was entitled to reparations for deportation to Germany in 1944 to work as a slave laborer.

In its new case, Germany asserts that in spite of that ruling, “Italian domestic courts, since 2012, have entertained a significant number of new claims against the nation in violation of Germany’s sovereign immunity.”

Along with this, in the case that it won in 2012, Berlin argued that the Italian Supreme Court ruling threw into doubt a restitution system put in place after the Nazis’ defeat that has seen Germany pay tens of billions in reparations since the 1950s.

In addition, Germany’s new case asks judges at the Hague-based court to declare that Italy has violated, and continues to break, its obligation to respect Germany’s sovereign immunity by allowing civil claims to be brought against Germany” linked to Nazi war crimes and by planning to auction off four German-owned properties in Rome.

On the other hand, the case also seeks urgent orders from the court known as provisional measures, including an order to ensure that the German properties are not subjected to a public auction” or further measures of constraint pending the court’s final judgment in the case, which will likely take years to reach.

Furthermore, no date was immediately set for hearings. Rulings made by the International Court of Justice(ICJ) are final and legally binding.

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