Administration does not mean sovereignty: laws in force in the Free Territory of Trieste
On 5 October 1954 the “Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Free Territory of Trieste” is signed.
With this MOU, the primary administering Governments of the US and of the UK have sub-entrusted the temporary civil administration of the present-day Free Territory of Trieste to the Italian Government.
It is important keeping it in mind, because the Italian Government is not the same as the Italian State or Italy. The Free Territory had become its own State on 15 September 1947, under a provisional regime of Government. The Italian sub-administration is a continuation of that provisional regime.
We wrote a lot about it on our “International Treaties” section, it’s worth paying it a visit: LINK
But let us go back to the MOU: international law is only one side of Question Trieste.
Many sources claim that the Free Territory ceased to exist in 1954, or that the MOU gave Italy sovereignty over it. Apparently they have never read it carefully.
Let us take a look at domestic Italian laws. Did Italy extend its sovereignty over Trieste? Of course not.
What the Italian Government did is implementing the new special trusteeship mandate vested on it. How?
Let us read the first decree of the officer in charge of it: the Commissario Generale per il Territorio di Trieste, Mr. Giovanni Palamara:
Decree No. 1 – PROVISIONS REGARDING LAWS IN FORCE
THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT FOR THE TERRITORY OF TRIESTE
In view of the Decree of the President of the Italian Republic issued on 27 October 1954, and in view of the authority vested on him:
In the Territory of Trieste placed under the Italian Government’s responsibility, the laws, rules, and orders in force within the territory of Trieste shall remain into force, unless they are eventually repelled or amended.
Trieste, 29 October 1954
The Commissioner General of the Government
Dr. GIOVANNI PALAMARA
This is a fundamental decree: indeed, it proves that the Free Territory of Trieste did not disappear in 1954. In his role of Commissioner General, Mr. Palamara confirms the standing of Trieste’s own corpus juris. In other words, he confirms that Trieste maintains a legislation separate and independent from that of bordering Italy’s.