75th Anniversary of the Reinstatement of the Frankfurt Courts

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2020 does not only mark 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, but also the beginning of the efforts to rebuild Germany’s institutions. Today is the 75th anniversary of the reopening of the District Court (Landgericht) Frankfurt. General Eisenhower’s Proclamation No. 1 of 19 March 1945 had closed down all German courts until further notcie. The order of the US Military Government to re-open the Frankfurt district court came on 24 and August 1945. Continue reading

Art Law: Frankfurt Court Allows Limitation Defence in Looted Art Case

WP_Max_Pechstein_2When the news about the Munich art find in Cornelius Gurlitt’s apartment broke, a legal issue that so far had been of interest only to a small community of lawyers or legal scholars gained prominence: the application of the statute of limitation to restitution claims for looted art. As the law stood, restitution claims against Gurlitt would, in all likelihood, have become time-barred. When the Gurlitt case made headlines worldwide, all of a sudden, politicians paid attention to that rather esoteric question. The newly appointed Bavarian Minister of Justice even initiated legislation to deal with the issue. But the topic disappeared from the political stage as quickly as it had made its appearance when it became clear that Cornelius Gurlitt was not going to invoke the limitation defence. The Bavarian law-making initiative fell into oblivion. Continue reading