The Giudice di Pace di Lecce agreed that the consumers are affected directly by an unlawful agreement which eliminates the consumers’ right to choose effectively among competitive products.
In particular, he stated that the Justices of Peace have jurisdiction over the case because it involved the protection of the consumers’ rights.
In this way, the Giudice di Pace di Lecce has not applied the provision of the article 33(2) of the Law 10 October 1990 no. 287, upon which the Corte di Appello is solely competent to hear claims based upon national competition law, independently of the amount of damages claimed and of the nature of the plaintiff.
This interpretation has been recently rejected by the decision of the Corte di Cassazione no. 2207/2005 (also reported).
The Italian Supreme Court has been clear in clarifying that, accordingly with the article 33 (2), the Corte di Appello serves as sole arbiter of all issues of fact or law and its decisions are binding and not subject to judicial review other than by appeal to the Corte di Cassazione.
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