Judicial Redress of War-related Claims by Individuals: the Example of the Italian Courts

Karin Oellers-Frahm

in From Bilateralism to Community Interest

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588817
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725272 | DOI:
Judicial Redress of War-related Claims by Individuals: the Example of the Italian Courts

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Over the past few decades, in particular since the Second World War, human rights have gained increasing significance in international law. Traditionally, the individual, his or her rights, and the implementation of these rights on the international plane were completely dependent upon State action; the individual was barred from taking action him or herself, this was ‘mediaticized’ by the State. With the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and the adoption of numerous human rights instruments, some of them providing for judicial redress, and in particular with the realization of international criminal jurisdiction, the position of the individual in international law has improved dramatically. A provisional apex of this development has been reached with the claims brought by individuals before national, in particular Italian, courts against Germany concerning redress for violations of human rights during the Second World War. This chapter considers whether the judgments admitting the claims despite serious concern arising from traditional international law do maintain a balance between individual and community interests, or whether they over-emphasize individual rights, breaking with well-established and reasonable principles of international law.

Keywords: Second World War; international law; human rights; claims

Chapter.  12883 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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