Switzerland has adopted a series of sanctions against DPRK, implementing UN Security Council Resolutions 2371 (2017) and 2375 (2017). As a result, work permits will no longer be issued to citizens of DPRK and, in the financial sector, joint ventures and cooperative entities, both ongoing and new, with links to DPRK have been prohibited. Financial transactions with DPRK have also been prohibited, with the exception of those that are solely for the operation of diplomatic or consular missions or for humanitarian activities. The ban on trade goods has also been extended. In shipping, the handling of goods bound for or coming from DPRK, or from ship to ship with a DPRK vessel, has been prohibited, along with affording any form of assistance to such a vessel. For the Swiss press release, click here.
The Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law), a Canadian bill which provides for restrictive measures to be taken against foreign nationals responsible for gross violations of internationally recognised human rights, has received Royal Assent.
Under the law, foreign nationals will be subject to restrictive measures if they are found to have been responsible for, or complicit in, “gross violations of internationally recognised human rights committed against individuals in any foreign country” who seek to “expose illegal activity carried out by government officials”, or to “obtain, exercise, defend or promote internationally recognised human rights and freedoms”. The law also targets foreign nationals involved in acts of “significant corruption”.
Similar laws were passed in the US (see previous blog here) and Estonia (see previous blog here). In the UK, the Criminal Finances Act 2017 was passed, however, the relevant sections dealing with ‘Magnitsky-style’ sanctions have yet to come into force.
The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill was introduced into the House of Lords this week (first reading on 18 October 2017). The Government’s press release states that the Bill “ensures that when the UK leaves the EU, we can continue to impose, update, and lift sanctions and AML regimes”. Impact assessment here and regulatory policy committee assessment here. See previous blogs for the background to this Bill and consultation process.
The UN Security Council has published an Assessment Report assessing the Compendium of the ‘High Level Review’ of UN Sanctions (November 2015), which was the first comprehensive review of UN sanctions. The Compendium and the Assessment Report are “intended to serve as a basis for ongoing dialogue and engagement in promoting more effective and collaborative United Nations sanctions procedures”.
The Assessment Report makes 10 recommendations for strengthening cooperation within the UN sanctions system, enhancing cooperation between UN sanctions and the private sector, improving definitions and standards used in sanctions resolutions and related documents, refining the due process of UN sanctions, and supporting states that bear a disproportionate implementation burden.
The Council of the EU has issued a statement of its conclusions calling on all sides to bring an immediate end to all violence in Rakhine State. It confirmed “the relevance of the current EU restrictive measures which consist of an embargo on arms and on equipment that can be used for internal repression”, and has said that “the Council may consider additional measures if the situation does not improve but also stands ready to respond accordingly to positive developments.”
President Putin has issued a decree which ends economic, scientific and technical ties between Russia and DPRK, in line with sanctions on N Korea imposed by UN Security Council resolution 2321 (2016). The decree was published on the Russian-state legal portal (link here).