Specialization Course on the International Criminal Responsibility of Non-State Actors

ISISCThe International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC) will organize the 16th Specialization Course in International Criminal Law for Young Penalists on ‘The International Criminal Responsibility of Non-State Actors’ in Siracusa from May 29th until June 8th, 2016.

ISISC will select 60 participants who should have at a minimum a first degree in law, having graduated in the last eight years (between 2008 – 2016), and be 35 years of age or under. The Institute will offer 10 scholarships to applicants from Developing and Less Developed Countries. Participants awarded scholarships will have to pay a contribution for the course of € 200.

For a Draft Program of the Course, click here.

To apply for the Course, click here.

The Italian Constitutional Court’s Challenge to the Implementation of the ICJ’s Germany v Italy Judgment

by Dr Filippo Fontanelli

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice

With the decision no. 238 of 22 October 2014, the Italian Constitutional Court (the CC) produced the most spectacular display of dualism this side of Medellin. The CC declared the unconstitutionality of Italy’s compliance with the International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s judgment Germany v. Italy (Greece intervening). The CC’s ruling – briefly reported – invites speculation on two fronts: 1) What does it say about the application of international law in domestic courts? 2) Is the judgment reasonable by any relevant standards other than Italian constitutional law?

On the practical matters of the follow-up scenario before Italian ordinary courts, I take the liberty to refer to my discussion here (spoiler: Germany will not pay anyway).

In February 2012, the ICJ found that Italy breached its international obligations vis-à-vis Germany. Italian courts had exercised jurisdiction in tort proceedings against Germany, instituted by Italian plaintiffs for World War II war crimes of the Nazi occupation forces in Italy. These proceedings, resulting in Germany being ordered to compensate the victims, constituted internationally wrongful acts, since they disregarded the international custom whereby sovereign states are immune from civil suit in foreign courts, for acts jure imperii. The ICJ reached the same conclusion with respect to the ensuing enforcement proceedings and the exequatur granted by Italian judges to authorise execution of Greek judgments in similar disputes. Continue reading

Italy: Renzi’s Reform to Speed up Justice

renzi-firmati-24-contrattiIn an effort to tackle Italy’s notoriously slow justice system, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has announced a “revolution” that would break down bureaucracy. Friday, the Council of Ministers approved a series of measures designed to improve delays before courts. The “Sblocca Italia” programme provides for first-instance trials to last one year top and to reduce judicial summer break to speed up procedures.

Italy has already been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for its slow legal procedures. Civil cases take in average eght years to be resolved. Legal delays have contributed to damage busness activity in a country that has recently slumped back into recession : a business that goes to court to enforce a contract can wait three years for a verdict.