The European Union: Counter-Terrorism Sanctions Against Individuals and Human Rights Protection
35 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2009
Date Written: June 25, 2009
This paper reviews some of the cases brought, until 2006, to the Court of First Instance (CFI) of the European Court of Justice by individuals and entities seeking judicial review of EU counter-terrorism sanctions implementing, respectively, UN Security Council Resolution 1267 (1999) and Resolution 1373 (2001).
While the CFI has declined to review EU acts implementing the 1267 sanctions regime, it has recently fully scrutinised and declared invalid an EC regulation implementing Resolution 1373, insofar as it freezes the plaintiff's assets. The different outcome in the latter case is due to the different features of the 1373 sanctions regime.
The CFI position on the cases originating from the 1267 sanctions regime does not seem to be in line with the current picture of the EU system, where as a result of a long work of judicial construction, the protection of fundamental human rights is well entrenched in the EU Treaty. The Court's acceptance of a lacuna in the EU human rights framework is all the more worrying if one considers the lack of alternative avenues of redress open to individuals targeted by counter-terrorism sanctions.
Keywords: Counter-terrorism, human rights protections, Court of First Instance, European Court of Justice
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