Learn about the beta

Section V.—Contracts, prescriptions, judgments (Art. 299 to 303)

Note to X, sec. V

For special application to Alsace-Lorraine, see article 75.

Article 299.

(a) Any contract concluded between enemies shall be regarded as having been dissolved as from the time when any two of the parties became enemies, except in respect of any debt or other pecuniary obligation arising out of any act done or money paid thereunder, and subject to the exceptions and special rules with regard to particular contracts or classes of contracts contained herein or in the Annex hereto.

Text of May 7:

Any contract of which the execution shall be required in the general interest, within six months from the date of coming into force of the present Treaty, by the Allied or Associated Government of which one of the parties is a national, shall be excepted from dissolution under this Article.

(b) Any contract of which the execution shall be required in the general interest, within six months from the date of the coming into force of the present Treaty, by the Allied or Associated Governments of which one of the parties is a national, shall be excepted from dissolution under this Article.

When the execution of the contract thus kept alive would, owing to the alteration of trade conditions, cause one of the parties substantial prejudice the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal provided for by Section VI shall be empowered to grant to the prejudiced party equitable compensation.

[Page 613]

Note to X, 299 (b)

For the list of contracts with French nationals maintained by a notification to Germany on July 6, 1920, see Journal officiel, July 27, 1920, p. 10749.

(c) Having regard to the provisions of the constitution and law of the United States of America, of Brazil, and of Japan, neither the present Article, nor Article 300, nor the Annex hereto shall apply to contracts made between nationals of these States and German nationals; nor shall Article 305 apply to the United States of America or its nationals.

(d) The present Article and the annex hereto shall not apply to contracts the parties to which became enemies by reason of one of them being an inhabitant of territory of which the sovereignty has been transferred, if such party shall acquire under the present Treaty the nationality of an Allied or Associated Power, nor shall they apply to contracts between nationals of the Allied and Associated Powers between whom trading has been prohibited by reason of one of the parties being in Allied or Associated territory in the occupation of the enemy.

(e) Nothing in the present Article or the annex hereto shall be deemed to invalidate a transaction lawfully carried out in accordance with a contract between enemies if it has been carried out with the authority of one of the belligerent Powers.

Article 300.

(a) All periods of prescription, or limitation of right of action, whether they began to run before or after the outbreak of war, shall be treated in the territory of the High Contracting Parties, so far as regards relations between enemies, as having been suspended for the duration of the war. They shall begin to run again at earliest three months after the coming into force of the present Treaty. This provision shall apply to the period prescribed for the presentation of interest or dividend coupons or for the presentation for repayment of securities drawn for repayment or repayable on any other ground.

(b) Where, on account of failure to perform any act or comply with any formality during the war, measures of execution have been taken in German territory to the prejudice of a national of an Allied or Associated Power, the claim of such national shall, if the matter does not fall within the competence of the Courts of an [Page 614]Allied or Associated Power, be heard by the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal provided for by Section VI.

(c) Upon the application of any interested person who is a national of an Allied or Associated Power the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal shall order the restoration of the rights which have been prejudiced by the measures of execution referred to in paragraph (b), wherever, having regard to the particular circumstances of the case, such restoration is equitable and possible.

If such restoration is inequitable or impossible the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal may grant compensation to the prejudiced party to be paid by the German Government.

(d) Where a contract between enemies has been dissolved by reason either of failure on the part of either party to carry out its provisions or of the exercise of a right stipulated in the contract itself the party prejudiced may apply to the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal for relief. The Tribunal will have the powers provided for in paragraph (c).

Text of May 7:

Where a contract has been dissolved by reason either of failure on the part of either party to carry out its provisions or of the exercise of a right stipulated in the contract itself the party prejudiced may apply to the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal for relief. The Tribunal will have the powers provided for in paragraph (c).

(e) The provisions of the preceding paragraphs of this Article shall apply to the nationals of Allied and Associated Powers who have been prejudiced by reason of measures referred to above taken by Germany in invaded or occupied territory, if they have not been otherwise compensated.

(f) Germany shall compensate any third party who may be prejudiced by any restitution or restoration ordered by the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal under the provisions of the preceding paragraphs of this Article.

(g) As regards negotiable instruments, the period of three months provided under paragraph (a) shall commence as from the date on which any exceptional regulations applied in the territories of the interested Power with regard to negotiable instruments shall have definitely ceased to have force.

Note to X, 300

Articles 300 (b)–(e), 302, 304 (b), paragraph 2, and 305 were not applicable to the relations between Belgium and Germany and their respective nationals, except for cases pending before a Mixed [Page 615]Arbitral Tribunal after May 17, 1930, the date of the entrance into force of the agreement between the two countries for the final settlement of the questions resulting from sections III to VII of part X of the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed at Brussels, January 16, 1930 (104 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 223).

Article 301.

As between enemies no negotiable instrument made before the war shall be deemed to have become invalid by reason only of failure within the required time to present the instrument for acceptance or payment or to give notice of non-acceptance or nonpayment to drawers or indorsers or to protest the instrument, nor by reason of failure to complete any formality during the war.

Where the period within which a negotiable instrument should have been presented for acceptance or for payment, or within which notice of non-acceptance or non-payment should have been given to the drawer or indorser, or within which the instrument should have been protested, has elapsed during the war, and the party who should have presented or protested the instrument or have given notice of non-acceptance or non-payment has failed to do so during the war, a period of not less than three months from the coming into force of the present Treaty shall be allowed within which presentation, notice of non-acceptance or non-payment or protest may be made.

Article 302.

Judgments given by the Courts of an Allied or Associated Power in all cases which under the present Treaty, they are competent to decide, shall be recognised in Germany as final, and shall be enforced without it being necessary to have them declared executory.

If a judgment in respect of any dispute which may have arisen has been given during the war by a German Court against a national of an Allied or Associated State in a case in which he was not able to make his defence, the Allied and Associated national who has suffered prejudice thereby shall be entitled to recover compensation, to be fixed by the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal provided for in Section VI.

At the instance of the national of the Allied or Associated Power the compensation above-mentioned may, upon order to that effect of the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal, be effected where it is possible by [Page 616]replacing the parties in the situation which they occupied before the judgment was given by the German Court.

The above compensation may likewise be obtained before the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal by the nationals of Allied or Associated Powers who have suffered prejudice by judicial measures taken in invaded or occupied territories, if they have not been otherwise compensated.

Article 303.

For the purpose of Sections III, IV, V and VII, the expression “during the war” means for each Allied or Associated Power the period between the commencement of the state of war between that Power and Germany and the coming into force of the present Treaty.

Text of May 7:

For the purpose of Section III, IV, V and VII, the expression “during the war” means for each Allied or Associated Power the period between the state of war between that Power and Germany and the coming into force of the present Treaty.

Note to X, 303

The dates of state of war are:

America, United States of Apr. 6, 1917
Australia Aug. 4, 1914
Belgium Aug. 4, 1914
Brazil Oct. 26, 1917
Canada Aug. 4, 1914
China Aug. 14, 1917
Cuba Apr. 7, 1917
Czechoslovakia Oct. 28, 1918
France Aug. 3, 1914
Great Britain Aug. 4, 1914
Greece June 27, 1917
Guatemala Apr. 30, 1918
Haiti July 12, 1918
Honduras June 19, 1918
India Aug. 4, 1914
Italy Aug. 28, 1916
Japan Aug. 23, 1914
Liberia Aug. 4, 1917
New Zealand Aug. 4, 1914
Nicaragua May 8, 1918
Panama Apr. 10, 1917
Portugal Mar. 8, 1916
Rumania Aug. 28, 1916
Russia Aug. 1, 1914
Serbia (Serb-Croat-Slovene State) Aug. 6, 1914
Siam July 22, 1917
South Africa, Union of Aug. 4, 1914