Law Reform: Yet Another Call to Rethink Civil Procedure

In an op-ed piece in today’s Handelsblatt, Reinhard Gaier, a judge at the Federal Consitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), calls for a fundamental review of the entire system of civil litigation (Shaky Foundation – Unsicheres Fundament; paywalled). Last month, Gaier published a similar piece in Frankfurter Allgemeine in March, and started the year with an interview in the legal press on the topic (Ist die Zivilprozessordnung noch ein modernes Verfahrensrecht?, ZRP 2013, 27) so he is on the campaing trail. For what it’s worth, he does have my full support.

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Art Law: Limbach Commission Recommends To Return Kokoschka Painting to Flechtheim Heirs

Last week we reported that Bavaria is being taken to court in the US over a restitution claim of the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy family, after it refused to bring the matter to the Limbach Commission. The City of Cologne (Köln), to the contrary, had agreed to bring the claim to return Oskar Kokoschka’s portrait of Tilla Durieux to the heirs of art dealer Alfred Flechtheim before the Commission. It is now faced with a recommendation of the Limbach Commission (its full name being Beratende Kommission im Zusammenhang mit der Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogener Kulturguts, insbesondere aus jüdischem Besitz).On April 30, 2013, the Cologne City Council will have to decide whether to return the painting or not. Continue reading

Art Law: Restitution Claim for Picasso’s “Madame Soler” Against Bavaria Brought in New York

Today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine reports on a restitution claim brought by the heirs of Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in Federal Court in New York against Bavaria.* The painting in dispute is Picasso’s Madame Soler. Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy sold it, in 1934, to art dealer Justin Thannhauser. It was from Thannhauser that the Bavarian State Painting Collection (Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen) acquired Madame Soler in 1964. But was that acquisition a legitimate transaction? Continue reading

German & International Arbitration at Goethe Universität, Frankfurt – A Curriculum with Internationally Renowned Arbitration Specialists

This summer, the Law Faculty at Frankfurt’s Goethe Universität is again offering a programme on German and International Arbitration. My partner Klaus Kupka is on the faculty. Here’s the description:

“Trying to find out about commercial arbitration, but didn’t know how? This Goethe University Curriculum provides you with a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of German and international commercial arbitration. Some of the most eminent arbitration specialists from major international law firms offer their profound knowledge and experience in a lecture series in German and English. One semester, every week, in the early evening hours, for a maximum of 30 highly motivated participants.”

The programme really is attractive – something I would have loved to attend as a student. Deadline for registration is April 16, 2013.