Recognition of foreign judgments in Italy
Following the enforcement of Law 218 of 1995, containing the regulation of the system of private international law, Article 796 c.p.c. was repealed, since Article 73 of the d.i.p. law replaced it with the application of Articles 64-65 thereof (as of Dec. 31, 1996).
Recognition of judgments issued abroad has been undergoing substantial changes over the years, so much so that there has been a shift from an essentially restrictive system to one that allows broad recognition of foreign court orders. Particularly at the European level, the 1968 Brussels Convention was signed, which introduced the so-called principle of automatic recognition, a principle that made it possible to overcome judicial nationalism in order to encourage, at the European level, a true “European jurisdiction.”
The d.i.p. reform allowed the overcoming of the so-called judicial nationalism in favor of broad recognition of judgments issued abroad. In fact, even the 1865 code was based on the principle of automatic recognition. It is worth pointing out that the reform law also made it possible to reach an extremely innovative solution, namely the overcoming of the now outdated rule that subjected the recognition of foreign judgments to the deliberation procedure under Article 796 of the Code of Civil Procedure, now repealed by Article 64 of Law 218/1995.
The essential elements for a court order to be introduced into our legal system are those peremptorily listed in the aforementioned norm, but among them the one that seems worthy of particular attention is the one which states that the provisions of the law must not be contrary to public order. It should be pointed out that the public order referred to is the “procedural” public order and not the substantive one operating as a limit to the recall mechanism.
The Italian judicial authority’s review of judgments issued abroad that have been recognized under the principle of Article 64 is merely eventual and operates only in certain circumstances, typified by Article 67 of Law 218 of 1995.