Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act (S.C. 2012, c. 1, s. 2)

Act current to 2014-04-02

Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act

S.C. 2012, c. 1, s. 2

Assented to 2012-03-13

An Act to deter acts of terrorism against Canada and Canadians

[Enacted by section 2 of chapter 1 of the Statutes of Canada, 2012, in force on assent March 13, 2012.]
Preamble

Whereas Canadians and people everywhere are entitled to live their lives in peace, freedom and security;

Whereas Parliament recognizes that terrorism is a matter of national concern that affects the security of the nation and considers it a priority to deter and prevent acts of terrorism against Canada and Canadians;

Whereas acts of terrorism threaten Canada’s political institutions, the stability of the economy and the general welfare of the nation;

Whereas the challenge of eradicating terrorism, with its sophisticated and trans-border nature, requires enhanced international cooperation and a strengthening of Canada’s capacity to suppress and incapacitate acts of terrorism;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) reaffirms that acts of international terrorism constitute a threat to international peace and security, and reaffirms the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by acts of terrorism;

Whereas Canada ratified the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism on February 15, 2002;

Whereas hundreds of Canadians have been murdered or injured in terrorist attacks;

Whereas terrorism is dependent on financial and material support;

Whereas certain states that support terrorism should not benefit from state immunity in this regard;

And whereas Parliament considers that it is in the public interest to enable plaintiffs to bring lawsuits against terrorists and their supporters, which will have the effect of impairing the functioning of terrorist groups in order to deter and prevent acts of terrorism against Canada and Canadians;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.

INTERPRETATION

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

“foreign state”

« État étranger »

“foreign state” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the State Immunity Act.

“listed entity”

« entité inscrite »

“listed entity” has the same meaning as in subsection 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code.

“person”

« personne »

“person” includes an organization as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code.

PURPOSE

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Act is to deter terrorism by establishing a cause of action that allows victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators of terrorism and their supporters.

CAUSE OF ACTION

Marginal note:Action
  •  (1) Any person that has suffered loss or damage in or outside Canada on or after January 1, 1985 as a result of an act or omission that is, or had it been committed in Canada would be, punishable under Part II.1 of the Criminal Code, may, in any court of competent jurisdiction, bring an action to recover an amount equal to the loss or damage proved to have been suffered by the person and obtain any additional amount that the court may allow, from any of the following:

    • (a) any listed entity, or foreign state whose immunity is lifted under section 6.1 of the State Immunity Act, or other person that committed the act or omission that resulted in the loss or damage; or

    • (b) a foreign state whose immunity is lifted under section 6.1 of the State Immunity Act, or listed entity or other person that — for the benefit of or otherwise in relation to the listed entity referred to in paragraph (a) — committed an act or omission that is, or had it been committed in Canada would be, punishable under any of sections 83.02 to 83.04 and 83.18 to 83.23 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Conditions  — hearing and determination of action by court

    (2) A court may hear and determine the action referred to in subsection (1) only if the action has a real and substantial connection to Canada or the plaintiff is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

  • Marginal note:Presumption

    (2.1) In an action under subsection (1), the defendant is presumed to have committed the act or omission that resulted in the loss or damage to the plaintiff if the court finds that

    • (a) a listed entity caused or contributed to the loss or damage by committing an act or omission that is, or had it been committed in Canada would be, punishable under Part II.1 of the Criminal Code; and

    • (b) the defendant  —  for the benefit of or otherwise in relation to the listed entity referred to in paragraph (a)  —  committed an act or omission that is, or had it been committed in Canada would be, punishable under any of sections 83.02 to 83.04 and 83.18 to 83.23 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Suspension of limitation or prescription period

    (3) A limitation or prescription period in respect of an action brought under subsection (1) does not begin before the day on which this section comes into force and is suspended during any period in which the person that suffered the loss or damage

    • (a) is incapable of beginning the action because of any physical, mental or psychological condition; or

    • (b) is unable to ascertain the identity of the listed entity, person or foreign state referred to in paragraph (1)(a) or (b).

  • Marginal note:Refusal to hear claim

    (4) The court may refuse to hear a claim against a foreign state under subsection (1) if the loss or damage to the plaintiff occurred in the foreign state and the plaintiff has not given the foreign state a reasonable opportunity to submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with accepted international rules of arbitration.

  • Marginal note:Judgments of foreign courts

    (5) A court of competent jurisdiction must recognize a judgment of a foreign court that, in addition to meeting the criteria under Canadian law for being recognized in Canada, is in favour of a person that has suffered loss or damage referred to in subsection (1). However, if the judgment is against a foreign state, that state must be set out on the list referred to in subsection 6.1(2) of the State Immunity Act for the judgment to be recognized.