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30 Jul 2010

Miriam Saage-Maaß, ECCHR

[PDF] Are German Sovereignty and Economic Interests Being Put Before Legal Claims For Victims of the South African Apartheid?

South African victims of the apartheid regime have filed compensation claims in the USA against Daimler AG and four other companies. The claimants charge that the enterprises either participated directly in international offences, or aided and abetted the human rights violations committed by South African authorities…Since the complaints were first filed…, the responsible courts have repeatedly asked US, South African and German governments to submit their respective opinions…Only…Germany still adheres to its original opinion: the proceedings in the USA, it maintains, are not legitimate…The Federal Government’s argument that such lawsuits should be judged by German courts is to be applauded insofar as it tacitly approves damage suits against companies like Daimler Benz. However,…compensation claims are almost impossible to bring under German law.