State Sponsors of Terrorism (FSIA)

Leading Cases

Osen LLC (together with Turner & Associates, P.A.) represents more than 150 families of Americans who were victims of Iranian-supported terrorism in Iraq between 2004 and 2011 in lawsuits filed...
Osen LLC (together with Turner & Associates, P.A.) represents more than 110 families of Americans who were victims of Iranian-supported terrorism in Iraq between 2007 and 2011.
Osen LLC represents the families of the victims of a terrorist attack that was perpetrated in May 1972 at Lod Airport (now Ben Gurion International Airport) in Israel.
The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
Enforcement of FSIA Judgments
Ordinarily, United States courts do not have jurisdiction over lawsuits against foreign states. The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) is a federal statute that provides the sole basis for asserting jurisdiction over recognized foreign states and it does this by carving out narrow exceptions to the general rule protecting foreign governments from being sued in our courts. In 1996, as part of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), Congress passed an additional exception to the FSIA that granted American citizens the right to sue foreign states designated as “State Sponsors of Terrorism.” This Terrorism Exception to the FSIA can be found in 28 U.S.C. § 1605A.
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State Sponsors of Terrorism do not typically maintain significant assets in the United States. Therefore, the main option for judgment holders against Iran, Syria and Sudan is to attempt to enforce their FSIA judgments in countries where these governments do maintain significant assets. Unfortunately, these efforts are often unsuccessful. For example, in October 2015, the Italian Court of Cassation refused to enforce an FSIA judgment against Iran. The Italian court held that although acts of terrorism are not entitled to immunity, to be recognized, a foreign judgment must accord with Italian jurisdictional principles.
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