Iranian Ministry of Information and Security, et al. v. Edward Tracy, by his Litigation Guardian, Charles Murphy, et al.
(Ont.) (Civil) (By Leave)
(Sealing order) (Certain information not available to the public)
Public international law - International law — Diplomatic immunity — Suspension of diplomatic relations — Diplomatic premises and property — State immunity for state supporters of terrorism — Recognition of foreign judgments — Respondents were victims in terrorist attacks who obtained judgments in proceedings in United States against Iran for its support of terrorist organizations — Later, in 2012, Canada suspended diplomatic relations with Iran — Respondents have since obtained orders and judgments in Ontario enforcing U.S. judgments pursuant to Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, S.C. 2012, c. 1, against Iranian assets remaining within Canada — Iran’s motions to set aside, vary or stay enforcement orders and judgments dismissed — Whether Iranian assets available to satisfy U.S. judgments — Whether respondents required to prove Iran’s support for terrorism in their recognition and enforcement actions — Whether U.S. court’s assumption of jurisdiction in the actions that led to the U.S. judgments correct.
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In 2012, Parliament enacted the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, S.C. 2012, c. 1 (“JVTA”). The legislation granted victims of terrorism the ability to sue terrorists and foreign states that have materially contributed to terrorism and terrorist-sponsored attacks. The respondents hold judgments issued by courts in the United States for the sponsorship of terrorism by one or more of the applicants (collectively, “Iran”). In 2012, Canada suspended diplomatic relations with Iran. The respondents later sued in Ontario to enforce their judgments under the provisions of the JVTA against Iranian assets remaining within Canada. Iran did not defend the respondents’ enforcement actions, and ultimately a series of judgments and enforcement orders were granted. Iran then moved unsuccessfully to set aside the judgments and orders in a series of motions before a judge of the Ontario Superior Court. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals, except for judgments based on acts of terrorism that occurred prior to January 1, 1985, because the JVTA does not apply prior to that date and therefore, those judgments could not be enforced.
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