1.1.1 Interim measures are mainly governed by the Italian Civil Procedure Code (CPC) and the Italian Civil Code (CC). In order to determine whether provisions other than the CPC are (also) applicable to an interim measure (for instance, the Council Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters1) the applicant has to check the following two issues:

  1. whether the claim or the interim measure have an international nexus; and
  2. whether there are special provisions for the particular type of claim.

1.1.2 For international cases, the provisions of Italian Law No 218/1995 on Private International Law (PIL), international treaties and European law supersede the CPC. These provisions relate foremost to jurisdiction and enforcement.

1.1.3 Furthermore, specific provisions are applicable in the following areas:

  • For interim measures regarding damages from car accidents, the Code of Private Insurance applies;2
  • For interim measures regarding industrial property issues, the Italian Industrial Property Code applies;3 and
  • For interim measures regarding bankruptcy cases, the Bankruptcy Law applies.4


2.1 International and geographical jurisdiction - the venue

2.1.1 Generally, the court having jurisdiction for the substantive proceedings is competent to rule on interim measure proceedings as well. Before the substantive proceedings are pending, the applicant may file the request with any court that has jurisdiction over the substantive case. Once the substantive proceedings are pending, the applicant must file the request with the court already charged with the case.

2.1.2 When the substantive proceedings have already been concluded by judgment and the period in which an appeal may be made has commenced, the judge who rendered the first instance judgment has jurisdiction to order interim measures.

2.1.3 Interim measures may be requested from state courts even if arbitration proceedings relating to the same right(s) are pending or the dispute is subject to an arbitration clause. Since arbitrators cannot normally grant any interim measure,5 the Italian CPC confers jurisdiction for interim measures upon the court that would have jurisdiction over the substantive proceedings if there were no arbitration clause.

2.1.4 If the substantive proceedings are pending before a foreign court and the Italian court does not have jurisdiction over the substantive case, Italian courts still have "precautionary powers", provided that the interim measure is to be executed in Italian territory6. The applicant should file the request at the place where the interim measure will be enforced, with the Italian court that would have jurisdiction given either the value or the subject matter of the case.

2.2 The effect of jurisdiction clauses

2.2.1 Jurisdiction for interim measures cannot be derogated from by the parties, therefore no jurisdiction clause contrary to the above rules can be validly entered into by the parties or enforced by the courts.7

2.3 Subject-matter jurisdiction

2.3.1 A specific subject matter jurisdiction emerges in two particular cases, concerning

  1. precautionary measures provided for in the Italian Intellectual Property Code; and
  2. employment disputes.

2.3.2 As to industrial property issues, the Italian regulations8 established special courts in some specific Tribunals and Appeal Courts which deal with interim proceedings as well. In addition to the ordinary measures, special interim measures are provided for by the Italian Intellectual Property Code. In particular, the special courts may:

  • order the description and the seizure of all the items which are infringing the applicant's rights and those which are used to fabricate the offending items;
  • order the respondent to refrain from carrying on with the acts which infringe or would infringe the applicant's intellectual property rights and take the goods constituting infringement off the market;
  • order the assignment to the applicant of the infringing domain name that had been illegally filed.

2.3.3 Employment courts having jurisdiction for employment disputes are competent to grant provisional measures as well. The measure must be requested by petition to the employment court at the place where the imminent and identifiable damage could occur.

2.4 Choice of venue if more than one court has jurisdiction

2.4.1 Should more than one court have jurisdiction, the claimant will be able to choose where to commence the proceedings.

2.4.2 In this regard the important elements to be taken into account when making this choice are the average duration of proceedings in the respective jurisdictions and the place where the measure has to be executed.

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1. As of 10 January 2015, the said Council Regulation replaced the Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

2. Italian Legislative Decree No 209/2005.

3. Italian Legislative Decree No 5/2005.

4. Royal Decree No 267/1942, art 108.

5. CPC, art 818.

6. PIL, art 10.

7. CPC, art 28.

8. In particular, Italian Legislative Decree No 168/2003.

Originally published 29 November 2018

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.