Germany, Supreme Court, Court Of Justice discussed on Bloomberg Law


One of the most famous collections of medieval religious art. The heirs of Jewish art dealers say the Nazi government forced the dealers to sell the treasure for about a third of its value, and they want to sue Germany in a U. S federal court. But this week, the Supreme Court ruled in Germany's favor unanimously. Joining me is M C son, Gila, chair of the appellate practice that Buck Alter the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act generally forbids suits against foreign countries. But there are exceptions. Tell us about the exception. That's at issue here. With the exception that was the issue here involved expropriation of property on the question. Woz when you take property does that ex preparation exception apply to property taken from nationals of the country who Being sued, basically, or is it on Lee foreigners or aliens? You are not citizens of that country, and the court said it's It's basically that the suit between someone who had their property taken with a citizen of Germany at the time, and the lawsuit is against Germany to mix. Preparation exception does not apply because you're talking about really a domestic dispute in their view within the boundaries of Germany. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion, he said, We don't look to the law of genocide to determine if we have jurisdiction over the air's common law. Property claims we looked the love property expand a little on that. One of the arguments that the errors made which he a dust as well by citing to an international Court of justice opinion that one of their arguments was that well, look, This is not just garden variety taking of property. This is in the context of a dem aside and there should be some ability to intervene when that happens and to be able to sue in U. S court. And so that is why the chief justice said what you just quoted, which was first of all, you don't look to the love genocide to decide whether you can have a claim. You look to the language of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and the law as itwas when the act was adopted, and that law really talked about property, and then we could have had Express exception for genocide, and it did not. He also said that the court has previously rejected efforts to insert modern human rights law into F s A exceptions. Yeah, so that relief cue again. I think one of the more strict strict constructionist from the court who joined the unanimous opinion would say yes, we're interpreting our act. We're not interpreting it in light of Other international body or human rights law, particularly human race block. That really came to the forefront and may have broadened in its view after the statute was enacted, so for going to incorporate Anything from from the human rights law into that statute. It's got to have happened prior to the subject of enactment. How much is this? The court not wanting to get involved in determining issues involving genocide. I think that the larger takeaway here is really I mean, it's tied in with the court views of the alien tort statute. Cases, but it will be again deciding later this term but also its previous decisions there, the chief justice quoted from the car Bell decision, saying, We have recognized that U. S law governs domestically but does not rule the world. So I think in a moral way we might want the court to do that. But the court is saying Of a legal matter. We have decided, but we are not going to take on human rights concerns of the world. We are not going to be the place for all of those things should be brought. We are going to just deal in our wheelhouse. What we think is appropriate for our courts to handle. And when Congress has explicitly told us that this is something that can be handled here, then we will handle it. If not, then we leave it to you. The other countries themselves, for example of Germany go to a German court to decide that or Human rights court. And we're going to stay out of that because we're not going to be the police court of the world and not is on the one hand concerning because you'd like to think that the U. S of the U. S as long Had the perception of being the moral authority in the world is not a legal authority in some ways because of the strong rule of law, but also moral authority. And so on. The one hand, you see would say, Well, this is disappointing because we could be perceived as you know, US moral authority on the international stage being weakened. But on the other hand, this kind of approach is consistent with with the United States took immediately after World War two with regard to the Holocaust. It returned the art that it found to the individual country and told those countries to figure out how to divide that up, and he would belong to you. No. It stopped out of that rule in the very beginning in many ways, and you know, really step back from everything in terms of studying up those tribunals and what would be appropriate and like each country do that. So in some ways, it does kind of echo what the U. S did after World War two, and it's consistent with that in the context, But it is confirming because you'd like to think that we would, you know, be able to step into the breach and in many of those cases And the story of Holocaust recovery, particularly art recovery and in the U. S and U. S courses. Not encouraging. I mean, it's just a series of procedural hurdles. Whether you're talking about doing a foreign government that has the property or took the properties or whether you're talking about doing private companies and individuals. It's a godless to get through there and you have a new individual claim. Go forward on America coming up. Why the case isn't over. This is Bloomberg. It's a time of change. Here's three great reasons.

Coming up next