“Restitution at Any Price” – A Rebuttal

Last week, Matthias Druba, the lawyer representing Peter Sachs in the Hans Sachs restitution case, responded in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) to the critique, published in the same paper, of the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) judgment in his client’s favour. Matthias Druba’s article was originally pay-walled, but has now become available in the free online version.

As you would expect, Matthias Druba defends the Federal Supreme Court against the harsh criticism. In particular, he mirrors the point that I had made in my post, namely that I it is unfair to criticize the Court for the construction of “lost” property, if one fails, at the same time, to provide a solution on how to cope with such property when it is found again. The Court properly dealt with that gap in the statutory regime on restitution claims, and in doing so, applied fundamental concepts of German property law.

Finally, the rebuttal also addresses the allegation that the Sachs family have been compensated twice: First, when Hans Sachs obtained monetary compensation, and then for a second time when the collection was returned to Peter Sachs, his heir. According to Matthias Druba, his client never questioned that ethically, he was obliged to repay the compensation, and Peter Sachs is in talks with the German authorities on the topic.

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