Decision of the Council of State, VI Section, No. 2792 of 11 March 2014

With decision No. 2792/2014, the Council of State rejected the appeal against a decision of the TAR of Lazio concerning a compensation claim brought against the government by a travel company, which had suffered damages following the interruption of maritime connection between Italy and Morocco by ferry for a certain period of time. For the complainant, the Italian authorities had violated the Agreement on merchant shipping between Italy and Morocco of 1982 (implemented in Italy by law No. 433/1985). Under the Agreement, the Contracting Parties undertook to cooperate to remove any obstacles to the development of maritime trade between Italy and Morocco, and to protect the respective foreign trade interests; they further established a permanent Joint Commission to ensure implementation (Article 19). The Council of State observed, however, that adopting or not diplomatic protection measures is at the discretion of the government. Furthermore, there was no certainty about the fact that these measures would have, if taken, led Morocco to cease its allegedly illicit conduct and, thus, avoiding the damages suffered by the claimant.