Peripheral Hegemony in the Quest to Ensure Security Council Accountability For its Individualized UN Sanctions Regimes

Journal of Conflict and Security Law (2014), Forthcoming

Grotius Centre Working Paper 2014/026-PSL

Leiden Law School Research Paper

20 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2014

Date Written: June 10, 2014


A demand for strengthened Security Council accountability has been put forward quite vigorously in the context of the individualized UN sanctions regimes. Over the years, a great variety of actors have voiced their concerns or outright condemnation of the accountability deficit that exists for UN sanctions regimes which target individuals. This accountability gap was effectively created when the heavily critiqued Security Council policy to impose comprehensive sanctions transmuted into designs of targeted sanctions regimes in the 1990s. The traditional procedures and accountability mechanisms that controlled the comprehensive sanctions against states were overall political and diplomatic in nature and not considered fit for the new sanctions paradigm which had the individual rather than the state as its core focus. The shift to targeted sanctions thus required fresh thinking about and new approaches to Security Council accountability. External actors, including states, and particularly their courts and parliaments, but also regional courts and parliaments, UN human rights bodies and special rapporteurs, scholars and civil society took the lead in exposing the accountability deficit and through concerted efforts they created the impetus for change. The protagonist in this story is beyond any doubt the European Court of Justice (ECJ) with its legendary Kadi-case. In light of the above panorama, this article examines issues of Security Council accountability in relation to individualized UN sanctions regimes. It particularly assesses and appraises the role of external forces in bringing about change within the UN system, with a focus on the ECJ and its Kadi case.

Keywords: UN sanctions, ECJ, Kadi, Sanctions Ombudsperson, 1267/1989 Al Qaeda Sanctions

Suggested Citation

van den Herik, Larissa, Peripheral Hegemony in the Quest to Ensure Security Council Accountability For its Individualized UN Sanctions Regimes (June 10, 2014). Journal of Conflict and Security Law (2014), Forthcoming, Grotius Centre Working Paper 2014/026-PSL, Leiden Law School Research Paper , Available at SSRN:

Larissa Van den Herik (Contact Author)

Leiden University ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, Zuid Holland 2300 RA

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