Advocate General’s opinion in Bank Mellat

EU3.jpgAdvocate General Mengozzi has published his opinion stating that the European Court of Justice should in his view uphold the General Court’s judgment of 2 June 2016 (see previous blog) rejecting Bank Mellat’s challenge in case T-160/13 to the non-targeted parts of the EU’s former Iran sanctions regime. Link to his (non-binding) opinion is here.

Bank Mellat was seeking to challenge not the targeted asset freeze on it (on which it succeeded – see previous blog), but the wider restrictions on Iranian banks that had been imposed by EU sanctions pre-JCPOA. The General Court had 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 Advocate General’s view is that the bank’s appeal is inadmissible because the sanctions under challenge were lifted by the JCPOA on 16 January 2016. In any event he considers that all the grounds of appeal against the General Court judgment should be dismissed, save that it erred in not having considered the effects of the JCPOA. The next step will be the final judgment of the Court of Justice.

This entry was posted in European Court Cases, Iran 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.

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