Comment by the Information and Press Department on the US passing the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act wih extraterritorial jurisdiction

September 30, 2016

Washington once again demonstrated its complete disregard for international law by authorising US courts to try cases against states suspected of sponsoring terrorism. The United States, where many politicians have too much faith in their own pre-eminence, persistently continues the policy of extending its jurisdiction to the entire world and ignoring the concept of state sovereignty and any common sense.

It has come to the point that even the Obama Administration – the one that is usually eager to resort to legal blackmail against other countries – opposed the bill. However, the US Congress, apparently overwhelmed by the pre-election hype, voted to override President Obama’s veto.

The United States regularly using its judiciary to further its foreign policy interests is a well-known fact that we have become accustomed to given the extensive practice of clearly politically-driven and biased court verdicts against Russia and Russian nationals. Now the rest of the world risks facing the same arbitrary treatment and politically motivated accusations against unfavoured states.

Literally, the rest of the world. Any American citizen can now sue any country and accuse it, without proof, of any possible wrongdoing. The court of original jurisdiction will be evaluating actions of foreign governments on other continents and inflict penalties – for example, seizure of foreign property and assets inside the US.

Obviously, such a violation of one of the key doctrines of international law, immunity from prosecution of sovereign states, will unmistakably hit the United States hard very soon. It is not a coincidence that, unlike the Congress, the White House had an adequate self-preservation response. They figured out that, based on the principle of reciprocity, the new bill will result in the US dealing with the same accusations as other countries in the shape of counterclaims. The consequences for the US may be even more serious considering its insatiable ambition to dominate the world and use military force worldwide, constantly causing harm to innocent people, to say nothing of Washington’s support of illegal armed groups that are hardly different from terrorists, for their own cause.

This megalomania and mindless tendency to establish extraterritorial jurisdiction for US laws now played a low-down trick on American legislators. They will truly understand what it means to shoot themselves in the foot.

Source: Foreign Ministry of Russia