Skip to main content

Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill report published

1 March 2018

The Joint Committee on Human Rights publishes its Report on the Sanctions and Anti Money Laundering Bill.

The Report notes that sanctions are an important foreign policy instrument and are often themselves deployed to protect human rights or encourage respect for the rule of law.

Targeted sanctions are an important mechanism for dealing with terrorists and human rights abusers, and the Committee strongly supports their appropriate use.

Nonetheless, such sanctions can have very serious consequences for those involved, and it is possible that individuals or organisations may be wrongly sanctioned, for example because of mistaken identity.

The Committee has borne in mind the complexity of this subject and the need to ensure the Government's powers in this area are both effective and proportionate.

Key findings

The Committee notes the following points:

  • The broad powers in the Bill to make sanctions regulations where the Minister considers it "appropriate", which it considers are mitigated by the inclusion of Clause 2 of the Bill;
  • The lowering of the threshold for designation from "reasonable grounds to believe” to “reasonable grounds to suspect". The Committee notes this is in line with international standards, but encourages further explanation of the reasons for this;
  • The desire for a Magnitsky clause; the Committee notes the provisions in the Bill which allows for the imposition of sanctions which deal with all forms of human rights abuses, and considers there should be a strong presumption that the names of those refused entry to the UK, and the reasons for refusal, should be made public;
  • The need for due process for designated persons;
  • The removal of the oversight of the Independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, where the Committee seeks more information; and
  • The desirability of early publication of guidelines on exemptions.

Further information

Image: House of Lords