Businesses Beware: JASTA’s Expansion of Civil Liability for Terrorism

9 January 2017
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Key takeaways

  • On September 28, 2016, the U.S. Congress expanded civil liability for foreign countries and international businesses by enacting the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act ("JASTA"). By withdrawing sovereign immunity protection from foreign countries and their instrumentalities and expanding civil liability under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act ("ATA") for both sovereign entities and private companies, JASTA creates serious financial and reputational risks that need to be managed carefully.
  • These expanded provisions apply broadly to a host of enterprises, including financial institutions, social media companies and government contractors that provide goods and services that may inadvertently link to acts constituting international terrorism.
  • As a result, companies may wish to consider adding anti-terrorism screening to their regular due diligence and compliance procedures.