Sanctions regime—global human rights
Produced in partnership with John Binns of BCL Solicitors LLP
Last updated on 19/08/2020

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with John Binns of BCL Solicitors LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sanctions regime—global human rights
  • Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020
  • Involvement in human rights violations
  • Who can be subject to sanctions?
  • Prohibitions and requirements
  • Application
  • Financial sanctions
  • Immigration
  • Reporting obligations
  • Licensing and exceptions
  • More...

Sanctions regime—global human rights

On 6 July 2020, the UK introduced its first autonomous sanctions regime under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA 2018). Financial sanctions target behaviour and the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 (the Human Rights Sanctions Regulations), SI 2020/680 enable the UK to create sanctions regimes for purposes that would provide accountability for, or be a deterrent to, ‘gross violations of human rights’. These are commonly referred to as ‘Magnitsky sanctions’.

In December 2020, the EU adopted its equivalent human rights sanctions regime enabling the EU to target individuals, entities and bodies responsible for, or associated with serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide. See: Council Regulation (EU) 2020/1998 (OJ L 410I 7.12.2020 p 1–12) of 7 December 2020 concerning restrictive measures against serious human rights violations and abuses and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1999 (OJ L 410I 7.12.2020 p 13–19) of 7 December 2020 concerning restrictive measures against serious human rights violations and abuses.

This Practice Note explains the scope of the UK’s global human rights sanctions regime under the Human Rights Sanctions Regulations. It explains the activities targeted by the regime, the sanctions imposed, who is covered and the relevant guidance published by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI). It also considers practical aspects of the regime for businesses.

For information on the statutory aims for the creation of sanctions

Related documents:
Key definition:
Sanctions definition
What does Sanctions mean?

The court can impose sanctions on parties to civil litigation who fail to comply with relevant rules, practice directions and court orders. These sanctions include striking out a party's claim or defence. A party can apply for relief from sanctions under Rule 3.9 of the CPR.

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