Piccoli v Italian Knights of Order of Malta

CourtCourt of Appeal of Rome (Italy)
Date23 Gennaio 1978
Italy, Court of Appeal of Rome.
Association of Italian Knights of The Sovereign Order of Malta

States Foreign sovereign entities Sovereign Order of Malta Whether a subject of international law Whether judgments of its courts are to be equated with judgments of the courts of foreign States with regard to rules of recognition and enforcement The law of Italy

Summary: The facts:The plaintiff, a former employee of the Association of Italian Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (ACISMOM), requested the Court of Appeal of Rome to give effect to a decision of the Tribunal of First Instance of the Order which had awarded her a sum for arrears of salary against her previous employer. The plaintiff had earlier instituted proceedings based on the same facts before the Italian courts but the Court of Cassation had held that those courts lacked jurisdiction over the case because the Association was to be regarded as an organ of a foreign subject of international law.1 The Court of Appeal had to consider whether decisions of the courts of the Order were required to satisfy the conditions laid down for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments under the Italian Code of Civil Procedure. The Association itself raised no objection to the recognition as a foreign judgment of the decision given by the Order's Tribunal.

Held:The decision was valid and effective in Italy.

Since the Order of Malta was a subject of international law, the judgments of its courts were to be equated to those of foreign States whose enforcement in Italy was subject to recognition in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Italian Code of Civil Procedure.

The following is the text of the relevant part of the judgment of the Court:

The factsOn 7 June 1977, Maria Serafina Piccoli instituted an action in this Court against the Association of Italian Knights of the

Sovereign Military Order of Malta (hereinafter ACISMOM), requesting a declaration that the judgment given inter partes by the Magisterial Tribunal of First Instance of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta was effective in Italy. The judgment of the Order's Magisterial Court ordered ACISMOM to pay to Ms Piccoli the compound sum of 8,340,000 Italian lira (representing the combination of salary, overtime and revaluation and the costs in the action) owed to Ms Piccoli in respect of her services rendered at the Hospital of Sarno, which was managed by ACISMOM.

Having voluntarily entered an appearance...

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