10 Feb ICJ Watch: Germany Prevails Over Liechtenstein
From the department of obscure court decisions, the ICJ ruled today that it has no jurisdiction over a dispute between Liechtenstein and Germany over
decisions of Germany, in and after 1998, to treat certain property of Liechtenstein nationals as German assets having been ‘seized for the purposes of reparation or restitution, or as a result of the state of war’ – i.e., as a consequence of World War II -, without ensuring any compensation for the loss of that property to its owners, and to the detriment of Liechtenstein itself.
All courts have their obscure and tedious cases, and this appears to be one of ICJ’s less exciting decisions ( although one of the assets was a Pieter van Laer painting and the total claim may have totalled a billion dollars).
The ICJ essentially dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. I have no opinion on whether that is correct, but I do wonder why it took the ICJ three-and-half years from the filing of the Application in June 2001 to reach what seems like a preliminary decision. Imagine if they had decided to go on to the merits!