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Lisa Ginsborg

Since its creation, the 1267 sanctions regime, known today as the ‘ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions’, has been subject to numerous and radical transformations in response both to wider historical and political events and growing criticism of the regime itself, in particular its human rights implications. This chapter gives an overview of the evolution of the sanctions regime and the controversies surrounding the practice of ‘blacklisting’ individuals and entities suspected of association with Al-Qaida. The chapter concludes that despite the significant improvements brought about by the establishment of Office of the Ombudsperson to review delisting requests, the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions regime still presents a number of problems for the rights of individuals targeted by the sanctions. In particular, while the Ombudsperson delisting system has to some extent been providing an effective remedy to listed individuals and entities, it still lacks procedural fairness in a number of areas.

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Lisa Ginsborg

The UN counter-terrorism regimes present some of the most innovative features in the transformation of UN sanctions regimes from more traditional diplomatic tools, to law enforcement tools, and in the move towards individualization and formalization. The historical trends in individualization of the original Al Qaeda sanctions regime, and the resulting procedural formalization emerging from indirect legal challenges brought by individuals in response to their human rights’ violations are mapped in detail in the present chapter. In the move towards expanding the targets of the counter-terrorism sanctions to a growing number of more or less inter-related terrorist groups, the recently renamed ‘ISIL (Da'esh) and Al Qaeda Sanctions’ appear to be moving slowly down the path to thematic sanctions against individuals. Substantive formalization also forms an element in this process, with the development of international legal obligations under the direction of the Security Council ‘legislative resolutions’ linking more or less directly into the implementation of the sanctions by states. While the broader normative counter-terrorist action taken by the Security Council in the aftermath of 9/11 up to the most recent action on ‘foreign terrorist fighters’ has been evolving hand in hand with the counter-terrorism sanctions regime, significant differences remain in their functioning, individualization and degree of formalization. The current chapter aims to investigate these trends. Finally, the chapter provides a broad overview of the implications of individualization on the implementation and effectiveness of the sanctions regime, which is found to be somewhat deficient in terms of its full formalization towards effective implementation mechanisms. It appears that, similarly to the human rights implications, the impact of the move to individualization on the effectiveness of the sanctions was not fully considered in the early years of the sanctions and many different actors continue to grapple today with the challenges posed by the global individuals’ blacklist. Keywords counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Office of the Ombudsperson, ISIL/Da’esh, legislative resolutions, implementation

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Lisa Ginsborg

Through resolution 2178 (2014) the Security Council imposed a number of binding measures to be taken by all UN Member States to counter the threat of ‘foreign terrorist fighters’. While the resolution repeats some familiar mistakes of the post-9/11 Security Council action notably in its introduction of a legally problematic definition of ‘foreign terrorist fighters’, the resolution also shows some signs that the Security Council may have learnt, at least in part, that the complete disregard of human rights is not always helpful from a security perspective. Further, the resolution is significantly new in its focus on countering violent extremism to prevent terrorism. While important risks remain in its implementation, resolution 2178 reflects the hope that a more preventive long-term approach may also be entering the Security Council agenda, in which human rights promotion and protection are seen as a vehicle to prevent and counter terrorism.