UN and EU targeted sanctions affect thousands of individuals, entities and organisations, preventing travel in the UN / EU and imposing far-reaching asset-freezing measures. The inclusion or re-listing of individuals or entities in targeted EU sanctions measures can be challenged before the European Union courts in Luxembourg (the General Court, and on appeal to the Court of Justice). Over the last decade, many of these challenges have been successful, resulting in orders annulling sanctions listings. There are also legal avenues for challenge in the USA and UN.

The grounds for annulment that have resulted in successful challenges include a lack of evidence disclosed for a listing or re-listing, a failure to follow due process in the listing procedure, vague reasons, errors in the factual assessment made against the sanctioned party and infringements of the rights of defence. The procedure for bringing a challenge has strict time limits and a specialised EU procedure. A successful applicant may claim damages for the loss caused as a consequence of being wrongly sanctioned.

Within the EU, acting for a sanctioned entity / being paid from frozen funds requires a licence from the relevant national competent authority. In the UK this is the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), part of HM Treasury. As is the case with bringing an action before the EU courts, the licensing process is technical and specialised.

The authors of this site have many years’ experience of acting for sanctioned parties before the EU courts, advising in relation to UN and USA de-listings, and appearing before parliamentary and other committees advising on targeted sanctions process and reform.

They have acted in a number of de-listing cases, including the following: