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S. 4240 (117th): Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act

About the bill

If you’re found in the U.S., does it matter where you’re from?


The War Crimes Act of 1996 criminalizes war crimes under U.S. law, and allows for potential prosecution for war crimes anywhere in the world if either the alleged victim or perpetrator is a U.S. national or a U.S. military member.

The bill was considered relatively noncontroversial, passing by voice vote in the House and unanimous consent in the Senate.

What if an alleged war criminal is found in the U.S., even if neither they nor their alleged victim is American? Even though they’re physically on American soil, the law technically doesn’t allow U.S. law enforcement to arrest them.

What the legislation does

The Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act would allow for the prosecution for war …

Sponsor and status

Charles “Chuck” Grassley

Sponsor. Senator for Iowa. Republican.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Dec 27, 2022
Length: 2 pages
May 18, 2022
117th Congress (2021–2023)

Enacted — Signed by the President on Jan 5, 2023

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on January 5, 2023.

Pub.L. 117-351

7 Cosponsors (4 Democrats, 3 Republicans)


Incorporated legislation

This bill incorporates provisions from:

H.R. 7818: Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act

Introduced on May 18, 2022. 98% incorporated. (compare text)


May 18, 2022

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Dec 21, 2022
Passed Senate (House next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the Senate. It goes to the House next. The vote was by Unanimous Consent so no record of individual votes was made.

Dec 21, 2022
Text Published

Updated bill text was published as of Preprint (Suspension).

Dec 22, 2022
Passed House

The bill was passed by both chambers in identical form. It goes to the President next who may sign or veto the bill. The vote was by voice vote so no record of individual votes was made.

Jan 5, 2023
Enacted — Signed by the President

The President signed the bill and it became law.

S. 4240 (117th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 4240. This is the one from the 117th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 117th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2021 to Jan 3, 2023. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“S. 4240 — 117th Congress: Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act.” 2022. September 28, 2023 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.