Countries at the Bar? After the Constitutional Decision n. 238/2014
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The paper analyzes the effects of case n. 238/2014 of the Italian Constitutional Court, by studying the first decisions of lower courts that have implemented the principles contained in such Constitutional ruling. In particular, the paper considers a series of legal challenges brought against Germany in order to obtain compensation for damages caused by officials of the Third Reich against Italian citizens in the years 1943-1945. Decision no. 238 has in fact established that the international practice providing State immunity from civil jurisdiction cannot stand in case of violation of supreme principles of the Italian legal system. Finally the paper analyzes the arguments employed by lower courts to deal with the many legal questions raised by the Constitutional ruling and also points at other legal issues which remain unanswered.