A Magnitsky Act for Australia – Human rights bombshell, or Frankenstein’s monster?
The Magnitsky Act represents a targeted sanctions regime for grave human rights violations or corruption under which individuals and companies are on the receiving end of economic sanctions rather than nation states. Versions of the US Magnitsky Act have been adopted in Canada, the UK and three Baltic states. Similar legislation is under consideration by the European Parliament and a ‘Magnitsky Bill’ was introduced in the Australian Parliament on 3 December 2018. The Act is widely justified as necessary to sanction human rights abuses in circumstances where the rule of law has failed. However, in force, it strengthens the hand of the executive of the legislating country and creates serious legal risk for businesses who unknowingly deal with a blacklisted entity. It’s legal foundation is also troubling: In 2017, Trump announced that human rights abuses an corruption in foreign nations constituted a ‘national emergency’ to justify extending the Act’s reach. Quite part from this, the Act has a disturbing backstory, featuring murder, state power and ‘fake news’.
- Date Monday 5 August 2019
- Time 5.00pm - 7.00pm
- Venue The Law Society of New South Wales
170 Phillip Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Speakers to be advised shortly.