Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

French Sources Warn of ‘Legal Chaos’ over JASTA | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55359417

French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Romain Nadal

Paris-French authorities have reiterated their rejection to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which the Foreign Ministry said violates international law.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Romain Nadal said in his weekly press briefing on Friday that France and European countries believe that JASTA contravenes international law.

Paris, which is fighting the war on terror along with its partners, mainly the United States, considers that this battle “should be waged through the respect of national and international laws,” Nadal told reporters.

According to French authorities, the new U.S. law, which was adopted by the Senate and Congress despite President Barack Obama’s veto on it, “violates the concept of sovereign immunity of countries.”

French judicial sources believe that laws such as JASTA would lead to a “legal chaos” at the international level.

JASTA allows attack survivors and relatives of terrorism victims to pursue cases against foreign governments in U.S. federal court and to demand compensation if such governments are proven to bear some responsibility for attacks on U.S. soil.

According to the sources, the U.S. would be the first to suffer as a result of the law because it could open the door for other countries to make similar moves.

The U.S. would be the worst sufferer for having the most impact in world affairs, they said.

The sources warned that the law could be used against it for its role in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Nicaragua. The states that would take advantage of JASTA would claim that the U.S. interference in these countries was an act of terror and drag it to trial or demand some of its nationals or agencies to appear in court.

In opposing the law, Obama said it would harm U.S. interests by undermining the principle of sovereign immunity, opening up the U.S. to private lawsuits over its military missions abroad.

French authorities believe that the law’s adoption is linked to the upcoming presidential and legislative elections in the U.S.

Several lawmakers have admitted that they haven’t even read the document before voting on it.