Art Law: Deletion of Search Entries on Lostart.de – Kahmann in Defence of the Federal Administrative Court

Man_in_an_Oriental_Costume_-_Isaac_de_JoudervilleIn earlier posts, we reported on the decisions of the lower courts, and finally of the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht), on the legality of the continued publication of a search notice on lostart.de concerning Man in an Oriental Costume, a painting attributed to Jouderville, a pupil of Rembrandt, even after the painting had been located.  I had written that the judgment did not convince me legally, nor did I think it did the parties a service. The last post on the subject reported a case note of Boas Kümper who reached the same conclusion. In doing so, Kümper reviewed the decision in the light of the jurisdiction of the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) dealing with information provided and disseminated by state institutions (staatliches Informationshandeln).

The colourful background of the dispute between van Diemen & Co, the “Jewish” art trading company that auctioned the work off in 1935, and the “Jewish” bank, Jacquier & Securius, that had financed van Diemen’s partent company Margraf & Co is discussed in a 2011 BBC Feature.

Henning Kahmann, who acted for the subpoenaed participants (Beigeladene) which were ultimately was sucessful in these proceedings, had kindly offered to defend the Federal Administrative Court.* In addition, he provided me with an English translation of the judgment. Continue reading

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Art Law: Federal Administrative Court Rules on Deletion of Entries in the Lost Art Database

In May 2014, I had reported the decision of the Administrative Court of Appeal (Oberverwaltungsgericht) Magdeburg in a dispute about the deletion of a painting in the Lost Art database, once the painting had been found. The Administrative Court of Appeal at the time had held that, once a painting has been found, it must be deleted from the Lost Art database, as otherwise, the continued registration of the artwork would “taint” it and make it unmarketable. In a judgment issued on February 19, 2015, this decision has now been overruled by the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht). Continue reading

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Speeding Up the Courts: The First Award of Damages for Excessive Lenghts of Proceedings

In December 2011, we reported about the legislation that was just introduced to sanction the excessive duration of legal proceedings. The German parliament addressed concerns of the European Court of Human Rights, who had criticized Germany for lacking effective remedies for excessive lengths of proceedings. Parties to such long-drawn proceedings can now be awarded monetary damages if the courts take longer than they should have. The new provisions were not exactly received with great enthusiasm, and most commentators were sceptical or even cynical about the effectiveness of the new law. So it was very interesting to see the first damages award come in. Continue reading

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