The recent avalanche of protests and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa has been broadly welcomed by the international community. While some states, (for example France with regard to Tunisia) have been caught initially on ‘the wrong side of history‘, generally the peaceful and leaderless revolutions have been cautiously welcomed. Perhaps too cautiously at times, as states balance the good of being on the side of democracy and human rights with the perceived possibility of instability in the region. One can never be too sure of just who democracies might vote into government.
However, this changed as the protests in Libya began to succeed in loosening Gaddafi’s grip on power. While initially, most commentators seemed to assume that Libya was insulated from any change because of the Gaddafi grip, they were soon proven incorrect. This lapse in judgement is not perhaps all that surprising given the history of the Libyan regime. Indeed the introduction of sanctions has echoes of previous attempts to remove Gaddafi from power. Continue reading “Libya and Sanctions”
Last week the EU General Court handed down ins judgment in Fahas v Council: yet another decision related to targeted sanctions against individuals. The case concerned the EU’s domestic list of individuals suspected of terrorism which implments Member State obligations under UN Security Council resolution 1373. Mr Sofiane Fahas, an Algerian resident in Germany, has been listed since 12 December 2002 on suspicion of involvement with the “Al Takfir and Al-Hira” group, a dissident group in Algeria. A warrant for his arrest was issued in Italy in 9 October 2000 – this warrant was the reason for his initial listing. In 2008 he was charged with four offences before Italian courts, three of which related to terrorism. Mr Fahas sought a declaration from the General Court directing the Council not to relist his unless a “final judicial decision” proved his involvement in terrorist activities and financial compensation for the harm caused to him and his wife. The first claim was inadmissible as the General Court does not possess the power to direct the EU institutions as Mr Fahas sought. Nevertheless the question as to the lawfulness of his continued listing remained. Continue reading “Targeted Sanctions based on Pending Criminal Proceedings Ruled Lawful”
On 30 September 2010 the EU General Court handed down its decision in Case T-85/09 Kadi II. The judgment is the latest in a line of case-law that has considered the legality of the EU’s implementation of UN counter-terrorism sanctions. The Centre of European Law at King’s College London is pleased to host an evening conference examining the implications of the judgment for the European and international legal orders. Leading experts will discuss the future of the UN and EU sanctions regime in light of recent developments.
Panellists will include: Cameron Doley (Managing Partner, Carter Ruck); Marie Demetriou (Brick Court Chambers); Maya Lester (Brick Court Chambers); Professor Takis Tridimas (Queen Mary University of London); Professor Piet Eeckhout (Director, Centre of European Law); David Anderson QC (Brick Court Chambers); Dr Cian Murphy (King’s College London).
In the Chair: Professor Sir Francis Jacobs QC (King’s College London). The discussion will be followed by a wine reception. Attendance is free but registration is required. Please register at www.kcl.ac.uk/cel.
One of the most corrosive effects on political freedom during the “war on terrorism” has been that caused by material support legislation. Such legislation exists in the US and EU (both at national and EU level) and has differing scope in each jurisdiction. In summary, it criminalises the provision of a wide range of support to individuals and groups that are considered as ‘terrorists’ according to various authorities. Thus, it can be illegal to provide funds, training, personnel, services or political support to a listed group or individual. In recent months there have been judgments on such legislation on both sides of the Atlantic. M (FC) & Others v HM Treasury is a judgment from the European Court of Justice on foot of a preliminary reference from the House of Lords. Holder v Humanitarian Law Project is a decision (6-3) of the US Supreme Court on the validity of US material support legislation. Today I’ll examine M & Others while tomorrow I’ll move on to Holder.
The Kadi case on EU implementation of UN sanctions against individuals linked to the Taleban, al-Qaeda and bin Laden has resulted in every EU law scholar (and many international law scholars) getting out their pens and scribbling an opinion. However, while Kadi has been the headline case, there has been a growing volume of litigation surrounding the sanctions regime. The case of M & Others v HM Treasury has recently been before the Court of Justice on a reference from the House of Lords. The case concerns several spouses of individuals listed by the EU. The applicants are entitled to various forms of social security payments for themselves and their children under UK national law. However, HM Treasury argued that such payments are caught by the sanctions regime as the indirect provision of resources to listed individuals. As such the payments were subject to a draconian licensing regime that required the applicants to comply with an invasive regime of financial surveillance including a strict limit on cash transactions and the reporting of all household finances to HM Treasury. The dispute did not centre on the provision of benefits per se, but rather on whether the benefits were caught by the sanctions regime and thus whether the licensing system was necessary. Continue reading “Criminalising Support for "Terrorists" in EU & US Law (Part 1)”
We are very pleased to welcome this guest contribution from Dr Cian Murphy (right) of City University, London. You can find out more about Cian on our guest contributors page.
The Rule of Law Inches Forward: UN Sanctions in EU Law
Chafiq Ayadi is one of only two individuals resident in Ireland whose assets are frozen under the UN sanctions regime established by UN Security Council resolution 1267. Two years ago I published a short note in the 2007 Dublin University Law Journal (‘Ayadi v Council: Competence and Justice in the “War on Terrorism”’  Dublin University Law Journal 426) critically commenting upon the decision of the EU General Tribunal (then the Court of First Instance) in his legal challenge to the freezing of his assets (Ayadi v Council). I concluded, somewhat pessimistically, by noting that
For the European resident targeted by the sanctions, access to justice is guarded by Kafka’s doorkeepers. For his subsistence, the individual must petition his government. For his delisting, he must petition the Sanctions Committee. For protection of his rights, he must wait, for the doorkeepers are many and the door, though apparently open, cannot be passed through.
Continue reading “Guest Contribution: Murphy on Terrorism Sanctions in the EU”