The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee has published a report on the legality of the EU sanctions listing procedure (link here). The purpose of its inquiry was to understand why EU targeted sanctions were being struck down by the EU courts, and whether improvements could be made to the sanctions listing process.
The committee heard evidence (written and oral) from Maya Lester QC of this blog, Senior Legal Adviser to the EU Council Michael Bishop, and three Foreign & Commonwealth Office officials, including the Deputy Head of International Organisations Mathew Findlay. Our previous blog on the inquiry is here.
The report’s recommendations are that:
- The EU should codify the standard of proof it applies when it adopts sanctions listings, for the sake of transparency and consistency.
- The EU Council should ensure that listings are better substantiated and bear in mind the need for an effective remedy before re-listing successful applicants.
- The EU should ensure that it has robust but fair procedures to allow the EU courts to assess confidential evidence underpinning sanctions listings.
- The UK Government and EU Council should consider whether to appoint an Ombudsperson for sanctions listings.
- The time taken for the EU Council to respond to correspondence from listed people and companies should be reduced as a matter of urgency, in particular cases of mistaken identity.
- The Government should provide open-source information justifying sanctions listings to select committees, to allow for effective scrutiny.
- The UK should remain able to align itself with EU sanctions post-Brexit, and legislate to this effect.