Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (07/25/2000)

Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act - Amends the Federal judicial code to revise the definition of "agency or instrumentality of a foreign state" for purposes of provisions regarding exceptions to: (1) the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign state where money damages are sought against a foreign state for personal injury or death that was caused by an act of torture, extrajudicial killing, aircraft sabotage, hostage taking, or the provision of material support or resources for such an act (jurisdictional provisions); and (2) the immunity from attachment or execution where the judgment relates to a claim for which the foreign state is not immune (attachment provisions).

Directs that moneys due from or payable by the United States to any State against which a judgment is pending under jurisdictional provisions be subject to attachment and execution in like manner and to the same extent as if the United States were a private person.

Authorizes the President, upon determining on an asset-by-asset basis that a waiver is necessary in the national security interest, to waive attachment provisions in connection with (and prior to the enforcement of) any judicial order directing attachment in aid of execution or execution against any property subject to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Specifies that a waiver shall not apply to the proceeds of: (1) such use if such property has been used for any non-diplomatic purpose (including use as rental property); or (2) a sale or transfer if any asset subject to such Conventions is sold or otherwise transferred for value to a third party.

Defines "property" or an "asset" subject to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations" to mean any property or asset the attachment in aid of execution or execution of which would result in a violation of a U.S. obligation under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, as the case may be.

Treats all assets of any agency or instrumentality of a foreign state as assets of that foreign state.

(Sec. 2) Prohibits the Director of the Office of Management and Budget from making any estimates of changes in direct spending outlays and receipts under "pay as you go" provisions of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 for any fiscal year resulting from enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 3) Provides that the failure of a foreign state against which money damages are sought for personal injury or death caused by an act of torture, extrajudicial killing, aircraft sabotage, hostage taking, or the provision of material support or resources, to furnish any testimony, document, or other thing upon a duly issued discovery order by the court in the action shall be deemed an admission of any fact with respect to which the discovery order relates.

Makes an exception to the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign state against which such damages are sought if the act occurred in the state and the state has not had a reasonable opportunity to arbitrate the claim in accordance with accepted international rules of arbitration (current law) in a neutral forum outside the foreign state.

Specifies that no Federal or State statutory limits shall apply to the amount of compensatory, actual, or punitive damages permitted to be awarded to persons under judicial code provisions regarding general exceptions to the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign state.

Makes this section applicable to claims arising before this Act's enactment.