French National Compensation Case

CourtCourt of Appeal of Cologne (Germany)
Date29 i 1973
Federal Republic of Germany, Superior Provincial Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Cologne
French National Compensation Case1

International law in general Nature and binding force Freedom of States to derogate from rules of international law in their bilateral relations Whether derogation from nationality of claims rule by treaty admissible The law of the Federal Republic of Germany

War and neutrality War in general Enforcement of the laws of war Compensation and reparation Victims of Nazi persecution France-Federal Republic of Germany Agreement for Global Reparations Payments, 1960 Provision for Agreement to benefit persons who acquired French nationality subsequent to injury but prior to conclusion of Agreement Whether permissible derogation from nationality of claims rule under international law The law of the Federal Republic of Germany

State responsibility Claims Nationality of claims France-Federal Republic of Germany Agreement for Global Reparations Payments, 1960 Victims of Nazi persecution Provision for Agreement to benefit persons who acquired French nationality subsequent to injury but prior to conclusion of Agreement Whether contrary to nationality of claims rule Whether international law permits derogation from this rule by treaty The law of the Federal Republic of Germany

Summary: The facts:The plaintiff was born in Russia in 1903, lived in France from 1930 and acquired French nationality in 1948. He applied for a grant under Article V of the Final Act of the Federal Compensation Law for the victims of Nazi persecution (BEG-SchlussG) on the ground that he had been made to live in inhuman conditions in France between 1942 and 1944. The responsible Federal authority and the Provincial Court ruled that he had been a refugee within the meaning of the Geneva Convention of 1951 before acquiring French citizenship and had therefore been entitled to compensation under Article 160 of the Federal Compensation Law so that he could not claim a grant under Article V of the Final Act. He appealed.

Held:The appeal was dismissed.

(1) Under Article V(l)(5)(b) of the Final Act, a grant was not to be made if the applicant belonged to a category of persons for whose benefit treaties or agreements concerning global reparations payments by the Federal Republic had been concluded. The plaintiff belonged to such a category since the Federal Republic had undertaken in an Agreement of 1960 to pay a global sum to France which was intended to benefit French nationals...

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