In 2021, the European Court of Justice held that Venezuela had standing to challenge the EU’s Venezuela sanctions regime (previous post).
1. Right to be heard: the Venezuelan government did not have the right to be heard before the adoption of the sanctions, because they were challenging general not targeted sanctions.
2. Obligation to state reasons had been complied with: sanctions imposed because of the “deterioration of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights in Venezuela” in order to “prevent further violence, excessive use of force and violations of human rights”.
3. No manifest error: The EU had relied on credible and reliable information in order to conclude that there was “brutal repression” by the Venezuelan regime, eg reports by Human Rights Watch and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Venezuelan government’s reports that it had prosecuted abuses were not sufficient to show a manifest error.
4. Sanctions didn’t breach international law:
5. Proportionality and extra-territorial effect
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Maya Lester KC is a senior barrister (King’s Counsel) at Brick Court Chambers with a wide-ranging practice in public law, European law, competition law, international law, human...