Law of 12 April 1947 creating a presumption for the Benefit of Victims of Property Seizure
This law applied to property seized between 9 May 1940 and the liberation of Belgium by the Occupation authorities, their agents or helpers, on the grounds of race, nationality, opinion, political activity, or residence. A legal presumption was created to the effect that the seizure was presumed illegal unless the holder of the property could demonstrate that it would have occurred notwithstanding the extraordinary circumstances of the occupation. The claimant was to commence proceedings in the relevant court within six months from the date of publication of the law (19 April 1947), although in the event this was not possible, a time extension for filing suit could be granted, not exceeding two years from the date of the law's publication.
In practice, however, many victims of anti-Jewish persecution were excluded from the benefit of the operation of the Law of 12 April 1947, owing to the established conditions of citizenship for claimants, to the fact that victims of racial persecution were not deemed to be political prisoners, and due to the fact that bank accounts, jewellery and artwork did not qualify for restitution.
Law Library of Congress June 1999, <http://www.house.gov/international_relations/crs/aspects/belgium.htm>, accessed 27 Nomvember 2002
Part 5 of the Final Report of the Study Commission into the Fate of the Belgian Jewish Community's assets, which were plundered or surrendered or abandoned during the war 1940-1945, published July 2001, p. 458-9.