Established on the recommendation of the Mattéoli Mission, by Decree No. 99-778 of 10 September 1999, as amended by Decree No. 2000-932 of 25 September 2000, the Commission is charged with examining individual claims presented by the victims or their heirs to make reparations for damage resulting from spoliations of property that occurred due to anti-Semitic laws passed during the Occupation, both by the occupant and by the Vichy authorities.
The Commission, which is not a jurisdiction, is responsible for conceiving and recommending appropriate reparations or compensation. It is empowered to make any useful recommendation, particularly regarding compensation.
These recommendations (“Awards”) are then sent to the Secretary General of the French Government.
Pursuant to the Decree of 10 September 1999, damages resulting from spoliation of material and financial property give rise to the right to compensation or restitution.
The damages that give rise to the right to compensation or restitution are:
The perpetrator of the spoliation could be the State but also public or private persons.Therefore, notwithstanding the State’s liability, insurance companies, banks or the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) could also be found liable to pay compensation. For the latter cases, special procedures for examining the claims have been established.
Moral damages do not fall within the scope of compensation. Neither does the Commission provide compensation for the revenue loss resulting from the spoliation of a business (cf. opinion of the French Council of State of 27 March 2015: “Although, in the case of a business, compensation must allow reparations to be provided for its permanent loss, taking into account all tangible and intangible elements, the revenue loss due to the impossibility of operating the business cannot be likened to a spoliation of assets that qualifies for compensation”). Spoliation qualifying for compensation by the Commission may therefore concern a craftsman’s property, but cannot concern the loss of property resulting from a bombardment.