The question we wish to analyse in this paper concerns the case of the recent claims for compensation submitted to the Republic of Germany by former Italian deportees, in connection with the hard labour to which they were subjected when compelled by Nazi forces during the final years of the Second World War. It is an interesting problem, as at first the former deportees’ claims clashed with the principle of immunity of the state, according to which Germany could not be forced to make compensation by a court in another sovereign state, and would indeed be immune from jurisdiction; and more recently with the principle of statute of limitation, considering that these claims for compensation are based on events dating back to more than 60 years ago. The following question therefore arises spontaneously: can principles of international law or general principles of law (such as immunity and statute of limitation), in as much as they are valid and acknowledged, effectively overrule the claims of persons who were victims of very serious violations of human rights, thus leaving them devoid of a protection which no-one, in the abstract, would dare deny them? In our opinion, institutions such as immunity and statute of limitation are necessarily mandatory rules with regard to cases of an ordinary nature. However, when it is a matter of providing reparation for persons who were victims of very serious violations of human rights consummated in the scope of veritable international crimes, due to reasons pertaining to both international law and national law, these principles must necessarily be surmounted from the pursuing of substantive justice perspective.