Financial Sanctions

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Secondary Sanctions: A Weapon out of Control? Part III: Looking beyond the WTO – possible avenues to raise a Judicial Challenge against Secondary Sanctions

Judicial remedies at the domestic and international level In our two previous posts we examined the legality of secondary sanctions in light of customary law on the exercise of State jurisdiction, on the one end (here), and conventional law, specifically the IMF Articles of Agreement, on the other hand (here). Having established that, depending on their nature and implications, secondary sanctions may indeed be contrary to international law, the next question is what affected third States can do in response. As is well-known, States have begun exploring a range of measures in response to US secondary sanctions, such as the re-activation of the EU Blocking Statute or the creation of the INSTEX mechanism to facilitate trade with Iran, although none have been very successful so far. Leaving aside these non-judicial remedies (on which see e.g. here), one may also wonder what judicial remedies are available.

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Secondary Sanctions: A Weapon Out of Control? Part II: The legality of secondary sanctions under conventional law and the IMF’s tacit approval procedure for payment restrictions inspired by security concerns

The legality of so-called ‘non-UN’ or ‘autonomous’ sanctions has been amply debated in recent years. Discussion has arisen, for instance, on their compliance with the principle of non-intervention (see here), or their potential qualification as ‘third-party countermeasures’ (see e.g. here and here). The legal challenges are further compounded when…

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Secondary Sanctions: A Weapon Out of Control? Part I: Permissibility of the sanctions under the law of jurisdiction

Lately, the US has increasingly been ‘weaponizing’ economic sanctions to push through a foreign policy agenda. Making use of the centrality of the US in the global economy, it has forced foreign states and their firms to choose between halting trade with US sanctions targets or forfeiting access to the lucrative US market. In addition, the US…

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UK Extraterritorial Financial Sanctions: Too Much, Too Little, Too Late?

The US practice of the extraterritorial application of sanctions was criticised for years as, at best, the illegitimate abuse of its particular position in the world’s economy. Despite its fully comparable position in international finance, the United Kingdom was shielded from such criticism predominantly thanks to the transfer of respective decision-making to Brussels. The nature and scope of…

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