Claims Settlement Commission
Claims Settlement Commission of the United States is an
independent quasi-judicial federal agency organized administratively
as a component of the U.S. Department of Justice. The Commission's
primary mission is to determine the validity and valuation
of claims of U.S. nationals for loss of property in foreign
countries, as authorized by Congress or following government-to-government
claims settlement agreements.
Established in 1954, the Commission consists of a full-time
Chairman and two part-time Commissioners, who are responsible
for the review of claims and the issuance of decisions.
The jurisdiction of the Commission and its two predecessor
commissions (the War Claims Commission and the International
Claims Commission) has encompassed the administration of 44
claims programs, in which more than 660,000 claims have been
filed and awards granted in excess of $3 billion.
Funds for payment of the Commission awards are generally
derived from congressional appropriations, international claims
settlements, or liquidation of foreign assets in the United
States by the Departments of Justice and the Treasury. The
Cuban Claims program, however, precludes the appropriation
of funds by Congress for any such payments.
From 1965 to 1972, the Commission conducted its Cuban Claims
Program to consider claims of U.S. nationals against the Cuban
government for property takings occurring in the initial years
of the Castro regime. The 5,911 certified claims determined
by the Commission under this program were certified to the
Secretary of State for possible use in the future negotiation
of a claims settlement agreement with the government of Cuba.
The Commission can also be appointed as a Special Master
by U.S. District Courts to make determinations on issues of
ownership and valuation of property in any future federal
court actions that may be brought under the Helms-Burton Act
by U.S. nationals, whose Cuban property was confiscated by
the Castro regime, against foreign entities "trafficking"
in those properties.
Back to Understanding