Text: S.2040 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 114-222 (09/28/2016)

 
[114th Congress Public Law 222]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 851]]

                JUSTICE AGAINST SPONSORS OF TERRORISM ACT

[[Page 130 STAT. 852]]

Public Law 114-222
114th Congress

                                 An Act


 
     To deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, and for other 
            purposes. <<NOTE: Sep. 28, 2016 -  [S. 2040]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Justice Against 
Sponsors of Terrorism Act.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 18 USC 1 note.>>  SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism 
Act''.
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 18 USC 2333 note.>>  FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) International terrorism is a serious and deadly problem 
        that threatens the vital interests of the United States.
            (2) International terrorism affects the interstate and 
        foreign commerce of the United States by harming international 
        trade and market stability, and limiting international travel by 
        United States citizens as well as foreign visitors to the United 
        States.
            (3) Some foreign terrorist organizations, acting through 
        affiliated groups or individuals, raise significant funds 
        outside of the United States for conduct directed and targeted 
        at the United States.
            (4) It is necessary to recognize the substantive causes of 
        action for aiding and abetting and conspiracy liability under 
        chapter 113B of title 18, United States Code.
            (5) The decision of the United States Court of Appeals for 
        the District of Columbia in Halberstam v. Welch, 705 F.2d 472 
        (D.C. Cir. 1983), which has been widely recognized as the 
        leading case regarding Federal civil aiding and abetting and 
        conspiracy liability, including by the Supreme Court of the 
        United States, provides the proper legal framework for how such 
        liability should function in the context of chapter 113B of 
        title 18, United States Code.
            (6) Persons, entities, or countries that knowingly or 
        recklessly contribute material support or resources, directly or 
        indirectly, to persons or organizations that pose a significant 
        risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the security 
        of nationals of the United States or the national security, 
        foreign policy, or economy of the United States, necessarily 
        direct their conduct at the United States, and should reasonably 
        anticipate being brought to court in the United States to answer 
        for such activities.
            (7) The United States has a vital interest in providing 
        persons and entities injured as a result of terrorist attacks 
        committed within the United States with full access to the

[[Page 130 STAT. 853]]

        court system in order to pursue civil claims against persons, 
        entities, or countries that have knowingly or recklessly 
        provided material support or resources, directly or indirectly, 
        to the persons or organizations responsible for their injuries.

    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to provide civil litigants 
with the broadest possible basis, consistent with the Constitution of 
the United States, to seek relief against persons, entities, and foreign 
countries, wherever acting and wherever they may be found, that have 
provided material support, directly or indirectly, to foreign 
organizations or persons that engage in terrorist activities against the 
United States.
SEC. 3. RESPONSIBILITY OF FOREIGN STATES FOR INTERNATIONAL 
                    TERRORISM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 97 of title 28, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting after section 1605A the following:
``Sec. 1605B. <<NOTE: 28 USC 1605B.>>  Responsibility of foreign 
                    states for international terrorism against the 
                    United States

    ``(a) Definition.--In this section, the term `international 
terrorism'--
            ``(1) has the meaning given the term in section 2331 of 
        title 18, United States Code; and
            ``(2) does not include any act of war (as defined in that 
        section).

    ``(b) Responsibility of Foreign States.--A foreign state shall not 
be immune from the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States in 
any case in which money damages are sought against a foreign state for 
physical injury to person or property or death occurring in the United 
States and caused by--
            ``(1) an act of international terrorism in the United 
        States; and
            ``(2) a tortious act or acts of the foreign state, or of any 
        official, employee, or agent of that foreign state while acting 
        within the scope of his or her office, employment, or agency, 
        regardless where the tortious act or acts of the foreign state 
        occurred.

    ``(c) Claims by Nationals of the United States.--Notwithstanding 
section 2337(2) of title 18, a national of the United States may bring a 
claim against a foreign state in accordance with section 2333 of that 
title if the foreign state would not be immune under subsection (b).
    ``(d) Rule of Construction.--A foreign state shall not be subject to 
the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States under subsection (b) 
on the basis of an omission or a tortious act or acts that constitute 
mere negligence.''.
    (b) Technical and Conforming Amendments.--
            (1) The table of sections for chapter 97 of title 28, United 
        States Code, is <<NOTE: 28 USC 1602 prec.>> amended by inserting 
        after the item relating to section 1605A the following:

``1605B. Responsibility of foreign states for international terrorism 
           against the United States.''.

            (2) Subsection 1605(g)(1)(A) of title 28, United States 
        Code, is amended by inserting ``or section 1605B'' after ``but 
        for section 1605A''.

[[Page 130 STAT. 854]]

SEC. 4. AIDING AND ABETTING LIABILITY FOR CIVIL ACTIONS REGARDING 
                    TERRORIST ACTS.

    (a) In General.--Section 2333 of title 18, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(d) Liability.--
            ``(1) Definition.--In this subsection, the term `person' has 
        the meaning given the term in section 1 of title 1.
            ``(2) Liability.--In an action under subsection (a) for an 
        injury arising from an act of international terrorism committed, 
        planned, or authorized by an organization that had been 
        designated as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 
        of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189), as of 
        the date on which such act of international terrorism was 
        committed, planned, or authorized, liability may be asserted as 
        to any person who aids and abets, by knowingly providing 
        substantial assistance, or who conspires with the person who 
        committed such an act of international terrorism.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 18 USC 2333 note.>>  Effect on Foreign Sovereign 
Immunities Act.--Nothing in the amendment made by this section affects 
immunity of a foreign state, as that term is defined in section 1603 of 
title 28, United States Code, from jurisdiction under other law.
SEC. 5. <<NOTE: Claims. Courts. 18 USC 1605B note.>>  STAY OF 
                    ACTIONS PENDING STATE NEGOTIATIONS.

    (a) Exclusive Jurisdiction.--The courts of the United States shall 
have exclusive jurisdiction in any action in which a foreign state is 
subject to the jurisdiction of a court of the United States under 
section 1605B of title 28, United States Code, as added by section 3(a) 
of this Act.
    (b) Intervention.--The Attorney General may intervene in any action 
in which a foreign state is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of 
the United States under section 1605B of title 28, United States Code, 
as added by section 3(a) of this Act, for the purpose of seeking a stay 
of the civil action, in whole or in part.
    (c) Stay.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Certification.>>  In general.--A court of the 
        United States may stay a proceeding against a foreign state if 
        the Secretary of State certifies that the United States is 
        engaged in good faith discussions with the foreign state 
        defendant concerning the resolution of the claims against the 
        foreign state, or any other parties as to whom a stay of claims 
        is sought.
            (2) Duration.--
                    (A) In general.--A stay under this section may be 
                granted for not more than 180 days.
                    (B) Extension.--
                          (i) In general.--The Attorney General may 
                      petition the court for an extension of the stay 
                      for additional 180-day periods.
                          (ii) Recertification.--A court shall grant an 
                      extension under clause (i) if the Secretary of 
                      State recertifies that the United States remains 
                      engaged in good faith discussions with the foreign 
                      state defendant concerning the resolution of the 
                      claims against the foreign state, or any other 
                      parties as to whom a stay of claims is sought.

[[Page 130 STAT. 855]]

SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 18 USC 2333 note.>>  SEVERABILITY.

    If any provision of this Act or any amendment made by this Act, or 
the application of a provision or amendment to any person or 
circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this Act and the 
amendments made by this Act, and the application of the provisions and 
amendments to any other person not similarly situated or to other 
circumstances, shall not be affected by the holding.
SEC. 7. <<NOTE: Applicability. 18 USC 2333 note.>>  EFFECTIVE 
                    DATE.

    The amendments made by this Act shall apply to any civil action--
            (1) pending on, or commenced on or after, the date of 
        enactment of this Act; and
            (2) arising out of an injury to a person, property, or 
        business on or after September 11, 2001.

Mac Thornberry

Speaker of the House of Representatives pro tempore.

John Cornyn

Acting President of the Senate pro tempore.

                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,

September 28, 2016.

  The Senate having proceeded to reconsider the bill (S. 2040) entitled 
``An Act to deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, and for other 
purposes.'', returned by the President of the United States with his 
objections, to the Senate, in which it originated, it was
  Resolved, That the said bill pass, two-thirds of the Senators present 
having voted in the affirmative.

Julie E. Adams

Secretary.

              I certify that this Act originated in Senate.

  

Julie E. Adams

Secretary.


[[Page 130 STAT. 856]]



                  IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, U.S.

September 28, 2016.

  The House of Representatives having proceeded to reconsider the bill 
(S. 2040) entitled ``An Act to deter terrorism, provide justice for 
victims, and for other purposes.'', returned by the President of the 
United States with his objections, to the Senate, in which it 
originated, and passed by the Senate on reconsideration of the same, it 
was
  Resolved, That the said bill do pass, two-thirds of the House of 
Representatives agreeing to pass the same.

Karen L. Haas

Clerk.

      

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 2040:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 162 (2016):
            May 17, considered and passed Senate.
            Sept. 9, considered and passed House.
DAILY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS (2016):
            Sept. 23, Presidential veto message.
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 162 (2016):
            Sept. 28, Senate and House overrode veto.

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