PEOPLE THAT ARE REMOVED FROM EUROPEAN SANCTIONS LISTS HAVE A CONTINUING INTEREST IN THEIR CASES IN LUXEMBOURG? AG’s OPINION IN ABDULRAHIM

In a number of recent cases, the European Court has decided that there is no need for it to adjudicate on applications for annulment brought by people and companies on European sanctions lists, where they have been deleted from the list by the European Council before their cases have reached judgment (eg Case T-527/09 Ayadi v Commission). This has meant that delisted people have not been able to establish in Court that their listing was unlawful where they have been removed from the sanctions list in the course of proceedings.

Advocate General Bot’s opinion in Abdulbasit Abdulrahim v Council (handed down on 22 January 2013, link here) is that this line of cases should be rethought. Mr Abdulrahim was designated by the UN Security Council 1267 Committee in 2008, and therefore also by the European Union in Regulation 881/2002 (the Al Qaida list). He applied to the General Court to annul his EU designation. The UN Security Council removed his name from the 1267 list in 2010 and he was deleted from the EU list in 2011. The General Court ordered (in line with its previous case law) that his action for annulment was devoid of purpose, and he appealed to the Court of Justice.

The Advocate General’s opinion is that, despite being removed from the UN and EU sanctions lists, Mr Abdulrahim has a continuing interest in his action for annulment being adjudicated upon, so that he can seek to establish that his listing was unlawful. There is advantage to him in a court judgment establishing that his designation was always unlawful, and in the “retroactive elimination of his inclusion on the list at issue within the legal order of the European Union”. A judgment of that kind could prevent future unlawful designations, restore his reputation, and found a damages claim.

This entry was posted in Court Procedure, European Court Cases, Terrorist Sanctions and tagged by Maya Lester QC. Bookmark the permalink.

About Maya Lester QC

Maya Lester QC has a wide ranging practice in public law, European law, competition law, international law, human rights & civil liberties. She has a particular expertise in sanctions. As the most recent (2016) Chambers & Partners directory put it, she "owns the world of sanctions". She spent 2011-12 in New York at Columbia Law School lecturing and writing on sanctions. She represents and advises hundreds of companies and individuals before the European and English courts and has acted in most of the leading cases, including Kadi, Tay Za, Central Bank of Iran, NITC and IRISL.

3 thoughts on “PEOPLE THAT ARE REMOVED FROM EUROPEAN SANCTIONS LISTS HAVE A CONTINUING INTEREST IN THEIR CASES IN LUXEMBOURG? AG’s OPINION IN ABDULRAHIM

  1. Pingback: COURT OF JUSTICE HOLDS THAT A DE-LISTED PERSON STILL HAS AN INTEREST IN ANNULMENT PROCEEDINGS | European Sanctions Blog

  2. Pingback: THE ECJ’s JUDGMENT IN KADI II | European Sanctions Blog

  3. Pingback: THE ECJ’s JUDGMENT IN KADI II - European Sanctions

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