Restitution legal frameworks are established after the occurrence of events or situations of broad historical reach and negative impact, such as dictatorships, genocides and confiscations, in which the victims or their heirs are recognized to have a right to reparation or restitution. Because of the very nature of these systems and its roots, the passing of time frequently determines that the direct victims are no longer alive, thus generating rights in favor of their successors, or even the successor of the latter.

Many programs and legal frameworks have been enacted in the last decades, being the following just a handful among others:

  • Class action in the United States, aimed at the recovery of unclaimed assets held in Swiss banks and belonging to victims of the Nazi regime.
  • In Argentina, the Law Nº 24.043 granting compensation to the victims of the military dictatorship, having the deadline for submitting claims been extended several times.
  • In the Czech Republic, the Law of April 23, 1990, on Judicial Rehabilitation, No. 119, Collection of Laws, which in article 2 (1) (b) declared null and void certain judgments, convictions and confiscations, on the date on which they were  pronounced, and consequently, the rightful owners were considered owners of their properties without interruption. The mechanism for actual restitution was provided in further laws.
  • In the former West Germany, the Law of Restitutions dated September 18, 1953 and subsequent legislation aimed at compensating some of the injustices caused by the Nazi regime.
  • In France, the Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Spoliation, aimed at the reparation of the confiscations that took place between 1940 and 1944 and perpetrated by the Vichy regime.
  • In the United Kingom, the program Restore UK, set up by the British Bankers Association as a means of facilitating the recovery of accounts frozen during the Second World War that remained unclaimed since then.


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