Fixing Sanctions

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    UNU Office at the United Nations
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    Project Manager :
    Julia Blocher

    On 12 November 2015, the Group of Like-Minded States submitted a specific proposal to the Security Council on strengthening the rights of individuals targeted by UN sanctions, in view of the consultations in preparation for the adoption of resolution 2253 concerning sanctions against ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities. These proposals aim to design sanctions regimes at international level to ensure that they withstand challenges before national or regional courts. The UN Security Council previously included various proposals made by the Group of Like-Minded States, in particular by establishing the Office of the Ombudsperson for the Al-Qaida sanctions regime and gradually strengthening its mandate. However, no independent, effective review of listings applying to all sanctions regimes has been institutionalised yet at UN level, provoking criticism from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). 

    This study will provide the basis to address the urgent need for action to improve due process in all UN sanctions regimes. It will do this in four main components: (1) clarify the existing as well as the lacking human rights guarantees within all UN sanctions regimes, (2) determine and formulate further proposals for improvement on listing and delisting from a human rights perspective, (3) discuss the procedures for implementing these proposals and (4) illustrate possible scope for political action.

    While identifying concrete suggestions and opportunities for improvement, this study will explore areas relevant to sanctions regimes, including (A) clarification of human rights guarantees; (B) determination and formulation of new proposals, including how the Office of the Ombudsperson can be improved; (C) procedures for implementing proposals to reform sanctions regimes, including the procedures and timing that would be most appropriate to make adjustments; (D) exploring scope for political action, including which sanctions regimes are the subject of current or concluded [quasi-]judicial proceedings.