Elettronica Sicula S.p.A. (ELSI) (United States of America v. Italy)
OVERVIEW OF THE CASE
On 6 February 1987, the United States instituted proceedings against Italy in respect of a dispute arising out of the requisition by the Government of Italy of the plant and related assets of Raytheon-Elsi S.p.A., an Italian company producing electronic components and previously known as Elettronica Sicula S.p.A. (ELSI), which was stated to have been 100 per cent owned by two United States corporations. The Court, by an Order dated 2 March 1987, formed a Chamber of five judges to deal with the case, as requested by the Parties. Italy, in its Counter-Memorial, raised an objection to the admissibility of the Application on the grounds of a failure to exhaust local remedies, and the Parties agreed that that objection should “be heard and determined within the framework of the merits”. On 20 July 1989, the Chamber delivered a Judgment in which it rejected the objection raised by Italy and said that the latter had not committed any of the breaches alleged by the United States of the bilateral Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation of 1948, or of the Agreement Supplementing that Treaty. The United States principally reproached the Respondent (a) with having effected an unlawful requisition of the ELSI plant, thus depriving the shareholders of their direct right to proceed to the liquidation of the company’s assets under normal conditions ; (b) with having been incapable of preventing the occupation of the plant by the employees ; (c) with having failed to reach any decision as to the legality of the requisition during a period of sixteen months ; and (d) with having intervened in the bankruptcy proceedings, with the result that it had purchased ELSI at a price well below its true market value. After a detailed consideration of the facts alleged and the relevant conventional provisions, the Chamber found that the Respondent had not breached the 1948 Treaty and the Agreement supplementing that Treaty in the manner claimed by the Applicant, and rejected the claim for reparation made by the United States.
This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.