Bank Mellat, which won its challenge to its EU designation because the Council did not present evidence of the bank’s involvement in nuclear proliferation (see previous blog), brought additional proceedings challenging other aspects of EU sanctions, which the General Court has just rejected; Case T-160/13 Bank Mellat v Council (link here to judgment of 2 June 2016).
The judgment is detailed and interesting on the Court’s jurisdiction over different kinds of sanctions claim (on which see also AG Wathelet’s opinion published last week in Rosneft’s EU reference – blog here). In this case, the bank was seeking to challenge not the targeted asset freeze on it but the wider restrictions on Iranian banks imposed by EU sanctions. The Court held some of the application inadmissible on jurisdictional grounds. Other aspects were admissible but rejected on the grounds that the restrictions had a valid legal basis and were proportionate. The judgment is also interesting on the difference between the targeted and non-targeted parts of EU sanctions from the perspective of judicial review.