In 1996 Congress amended the Foreign Service Immunities Act (FSIA) to allow U.S. victims of terrorism to sue certain States responsible for terrorist acts. The terrorist State defendants have refused to appear in court, the courts have handed down large default judgments, the Clinton and Bush Administrations have intervened to block collection on those judgments and Congress has repeatedly enacted measures to facilitate payment. Further complexity has been added by attempts in one suit to abrogate an international agreement, the enactment of retaliatory legislation in some of the terrorist States, the war in Iraq, the suspension of Iraq's and Libya's status as terrorist States, and a proposal to compensate victims through an administrative process. A court ruled that congress has never created a federal cause of action against terrorist States themselves, but only against their officials, employees and agents, and only for their private conduct, not for their official acts. Consequently, plaintiffs have asserted causes of action based on state law.
"Updated December 17, 2007." Title taken from PDF title (viewed April 13, 2011).
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