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.

Recent Posts

Victims of Hamas Bring Suit Related to Campus Protests

Victims of the October 7, 2023, attacks by Hamas have sued two U.S. organizations for violating of Anti-Terrorism Act and the Alien Tort Statute. The nine plaintiffs – U.S. and Israeli citizens – allege that defendants serve as a “propaganda machine,” one that intimidates and recruits “impressionable college students to serve as foot soldiers for…

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Second Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc in Fuld v. PLO

Last week, the Second Circuit denied rehearing en banc in Fuld v. Palestinian Liberation Organization, an important personal jurisdiction decision that TLB has previously covered here, here, and here. The denial prompted a dissent by Judge Steven Menashi, joined in whole or in part by three other judges, which in turn prompted a concurrence by…

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The Challenges of Suing Under JASTA

Foreign states may be sued in the United States only to the extent permitted by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). Over the years, Congress has amended the statute to create several exceptions to immunity for terrorism-related lawsuits, especially for those brought against states designated as “state sponsors of terrorism.”  But only a very small…

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