In its new case, Germany claims that, despite this ruling, “Italian national courts have since 2012 received a significant number of new claims against Germany in violation of Germany’s sovereign immunity.”
In the case it won in 2012, Berlin claimed that the Italian Supreme Court’s decision called into question a repayment system introduced after the defeat of the Nazis, which has seen Germany pay tens of billions in compensation since the 1950s.
Germany’s new case asks judges at the Hague-based court to declare that “Italy has violated and continues to violate its obligation to respect Germany’s sovereign immunity by allowing civil claims against Germany” in connection with Nazi war crimes and by planning to auction off four German-owned properties in Rome.
The case also calls for urgent court orders – known as interim measures – including an order to ensure that German properties are “not subject to a public auction” or “additional coercive measures” pending the court’s final ruling in the case, which is likely to take years to reach.
No date was immediately set for the hearing. Decisions of the International Court of Justice are final and legally binding.