Currently in her 3rd year of the Combined Bachelor and Master in Law Program at Bocconi University, Elena has been part of the Bocconi MUN Club ever since its foundation in early 2011. A dedicated participant at MILMUN ICJ/ECJ simulations, Elena was awarded an ’’Honorable Mention’’ in 2011 and the ’’Best Judge’’ Award in 2012. Elena is also expected to Chair the International Court of Justice simulation during the Model United Nations Conference at the University of Salerno in the Fall of 2013. At Bocconi University, she has served as Class Representative and Member of the International Law Society. Lastly, Elena is also passionate about ’’Certamina’’ Latin/Ancient Greek Translation Competitions which she had won Awards for before beginning her University career in Milan.
Ecuadorian, José Antonio Villena is a PhD Candidate in Constitutional and International Law at the University of Salamanca. After receiving his M.A. in Government and Public Administration, he became a Director in the Areas of Constitutional Law and Electoral and Constitutional Reform processes in Ecuador. Following the aforementioned experiences, he worked as an external Adviser to the Trade-Commerce Agreement between the European Union and South American Countries. In the MUN field, Pepe has been a Secretary General for NAPOMUN (Cluj Napoca, Romania) and MUNUSAL (Salamanca,Spain). His current Project concerns the creation of a South American Community of Nations via his position as an Advisor in “The Climate Project “ (Al Gore’s Nobel Prize-winning Project on Climate Change).
Topic Area A (ICJ): Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany vs. Italy)
In 2004, the Italian Court of Cassation declared Germany responsible for Human Rights violations during the Second World War. More specifically, several Italian nationals were caught by the German occupation forces and deported to German concentration camps where they were forced to hard labor for more than a year. Following the aforementioned judgement, the case was brought to the attention of the International Court of Justice. From a legal perspective, the central issue concerns the complex and delicate balance between the principle of ’’State Immunity’’ and the binding norm of ’’jus cogens’’.
The revolutionary Italian approach was to declare Germany responsible for all Human Rights infringements and demand reparations for said damanges because of a new, Customary Law whose legitimacy was to be found in the juridical practice of several States. According to the aforementioned Law, the weight of the ’’jus cogens’’ would be so significant that it could overrule even the International Law principle of Jurisdictional State Immunity.
On the other hand, “Germany requests the Court, in substance, to find that Italy has failed to respect the jurisdictional immunity which Germany enjoys under international law by allowing civil claims to be brought against it in the Italian courts, seeking reparation for injuries caused by violations of international humanitarian law committed by the German Reich during the Second World War; that Italy has also violated Germany’s immunity by taking measures of constraint against Villa Vigoni, German State property situated in Italian territory; and that it has further breached Germany’s jurisdictional immunity by declaring enforceable in Italy decisions of Greek civil courts rendered against Germany on the basis of acts similar to those which gave rise to the claims brought before Italian courts.’’ (Source: ICJ Summary of the Judgement on February 3rd, 2012).
Topic Area B (ECJ): Geographical Indications (France vs. Spain et al.)
The “Geographical Indications” (GIs) – an important chapter in Intellectual Property Law – constitute a series of collective and individual Rights that are protected by International and European Legislation, thus falling under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The Republic of France has presented a case to the ECJ against the Kingdom of Spain, on account of the absence of legal protection concerning two French GIs (namely the Champagne and the Cognac) within Spanish territory.
Additionally, the Republic of France has filed a complaint for the misleading advertising that the Kingdom of Spain permits in favor of Spanish “Cava” and “Brandy” producers across the European Continent. According to the Republic of France, the permission that the Kingdom of Spain has granted these producers with manipulates and confuses buyers. This is due to the fact that France considers the promotion and bottling techniques used by the “Cava” and “Brandy” manufacturers identical to the ones applied in the case of the Champagne and Cognac.
The aforementioned case is important for the French Republic, as the combined sales of Champagne and Cognac contribute significantly to the French economy.
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