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Due Process Is in the Details: U.S. Targeted Economic Sanctions and International Human Rights Law

  • Elena Chachko (a1)

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The United States has employed targeted sanctions—economic and travel restrictions imposed directly on natural and legal persons—in a wide range of policy areas in the past two decades. This includes counterterrorism, nonproliferation, and cyber, as well as sanctions regimes aimed at changing the behavior of various governments. A substantial literature has considered the compatibility with international human rights law of the targeted sanctions practices of other actors, particularly the UN Security Council and the European Union. But relatively few scholars have examined U.S. targeted sanctions practices from that perspective. This essay argues that in principle, current U.S. designation practices can be reconciled with international standards. However, a more robust conclusion about the practices’ compatibility with international human rights law would require more information on the application of designation procedures in individual cases.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

References

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1 Also relevant is the right not to be subjected to inhumane or degrading treatment through denial of access to basic needs and legal representation.

2 G.A. Res. 217 (III) A, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Dec. 10, 1949); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Dec. 16, 1966, S. Treaty Doc. No. 95-20, 6 I.L.M. 368, 999 UNTS 171 (1967).

3 G.A. Res. 217 (III) A, supra note 2, art. 17(2).

4 Nada v. Switz., App. No. 10593/08, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2012).

5 Al-Dulimi & Mont. Mgmt. Inc. v. Switz., App. No. 5809/08, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2016).

6 Id. at paras. 146-47.

7 Sayadi v. Belg., Comm. No. 1472/2006, at para. 10.8, CCPR/C/94/D/1472/2006 (2008).

8 See Elena Chachko, Foreign Affairs in Court: Lessons from CJEU Targeted Sanctions Jurisprudence, 44 Yale J. Int'l L. 1, 12-18 (2019).

13 But see Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U.S. 1 (2010).

16 See, e.g., People's Mojahedin Org. of Iran v. U.S. Dep't of State, 613 F.3d 220, 222 (D.C. Cir. 2010) [hereinafter PMOI III].

17 251 F.3d 192 (D.C. Cir. 2001).

18 PMOI III, 613 F.3d 231.

19 Holy Land Found. for Relief & Dev. v. Ashcroft, 333 F.3d 156 (D.C. Cir. 2003), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 1218 (2004); Islamic Am. Relief Agency v. Gonzales, 477 F.3d 728 (D.C. Cir. 2007), cert. denied 552 U.S. 816; Al-Aqeel v. Paulson, 568 F. Supp. 2d 64 (D.D.C. 2008); Kadi v. Geithner, 42 F. Supp. 3d 1 (D.D.C. 2012); see also Global Relief Found. v. O'Neill, 315 F.3d 748 (7th Cir. 2002), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 1003 (2003); Fares v. Smith, 901 F.3d 315 (D.C. Cir. 2018).

20 Kadi, 42 F. Supp. 3d at 6-7, 11-13, 29; see also Rachel Barnes, United States Sanctions: Delisting Applications, Judicial Review and Secret Evidence, in Economic Sanctions and International Law 197, 205–06 (Matthew Happold & Paul Eden eds., 2016).

21 686 F.3d 965 (9th Cir. 2012).

22 647 F. Supp. 2d 857 (N.D. Ohio 2009).

24 See, e.g., 31 C.F.R. § 595.506.

Due Process Is in the Details: U.S. Targeted Economic Sanctions and International Human Rights Law

  • Elena Chachko (a1)

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