Sanctions and Terrorism
The United States imposes a wide variety of economic sanctions on foreign individuals, foreign corporations, countries, terrorist organizations, and other entities. Sanctions are an increasingly important part of U.S. foreign policy and they play a significant role in the work of the United Nations, the European Union, and some other countries. Many sanctions do not give rise to litigation, but some do. Indeed, some sanctions legislation provides a cause of action, lifts foreign sovereign immunity, or otherwise makes it easier to sue sanctioned entities in the United States.
Sanctions related to terrorism generate a lot of litigation, so we have grouped the two topics together. Sanctions are imposed for many reasons other than terrorism, however, and some terrorism-related litigation is not a product of sanctions. Finally, sanctions are a controversial topic globally, in part because it is unclear that they are effective at changing behavior and in part because they often have negative consequences for marginalized communities in the countries subjected to sanctions, including countries like Afghanistan, Iran, and Venezuela.
Tomorrow, the Second Circuit will hear argument in United States v. Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. to consider whether Halkbank, a Turkish state-owned bank (but not its central bank), is immune from criminal prosecution for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Halkbank claimed immunity under both the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and federal common law. The U.S….Continue Reading
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (DDC) hears a lot of state-sponsored terrorism cases. The plaintiffs in these cases typically assert a cause of action under 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(c). This action is, however, only available to individuals who are either (1) a U.S. national, (2) a U.S. servicemember, (3) a U.S….Continue Reading
Following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the return of the Taliban to power, the United States government froze approximately $7 billion of Afghan central bank (Da Afghanistan Bank, “DAB”) assets located in the United States. As covered on TLB, half of those assets remain frozen in the U.S. while the other half…Continue Reading
Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk, Does Foreign Sovereign Immunity Apply to Sanctions on Central Banks?
Scott R. Anderson, What’s Happening with Afghanistan’s Assets?