On November 26, 2021, Dunnington Partner Raymond J. Dowd will lecture at Maastricht University’s Ius Commune Research School Art Law Conference on Dunnington’s landmark victory at the New York Court of Appeals in Matter of Flamenbaum. In Flamenbaum, Dunnington successfully represented the Federal Republic of Germany on behalf of Germany’s Vorderasiatisches Museum. Dunnington recovered a golden Assyrian tablet that had been excavated from the Temple of Ishtar by German archeologist Walter Andrea in 1913. The tablet surfaced in a decedent’s safe deposit box in Nassau County New York.
The Flamenbaum case is of international importance because it clearly rejects the spoils of war doctrine and reaffirms the important rule that no one can take good title to property from a thief. The New York Court of Appeals rejected the lower court’s finding that the German museum’s claim was barred by the doctrine of laches.
Ius Commune is one of the world’s foremost legal research centers. The Flamenbaum case presents a model that should be used by legal systems worldwide in the wake of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 outlawing wars of aggression and ensuring that the profit motive is effectively removed from war and genocide – even when the proceeds of such crimes surface decades or generations later.
For more information on Dowd’s presentation, Proposing an International Model for Restitution Based on Time-Honored Common-Law Principles of Property Rights, as used in the Flamenbaum Case, please visit https://www.iuscommune.eu/html/activities/2021/2021-11-25/workshop_14.pdf