Research Handbook on UN Sanctions and International Law
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Research Handbook on UN Sanctions and International Law

Edited by Larissa van den Herik

The 1990s have been labeled the ‘Sanctions Decade’, since they witnessed an unprecedented intensification of the use of collective non-military enforcement measures, and in particular sanctions, by the post-Cold War reactivated Security Council. This Research Handbook studies the current practice of UN sanctions in international law, their interrelationship with other regimes and substantive areas of law, as well as issues arising from their implementation and application at the domestic level.
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Chapter 16: The prosecution of sanction busters

Ward Ferdinandusse and Pieter Rademakers

Abstract

In this chapter the authors explore the domestic implementation of international sanctions through a criminal justice approach. Within this scope, the authors elaborate on two themes of practical importance to the prosecution of sanctions busters in criminal courts and the resulting complications. First, it is argued that most violations of sanctions can be characterized as different crimes. Strategic and material reasons for the selection of crimes to be charged are explored; by analysis of the multiple criminal cases against members the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elan (LTTE) throughout the world, the various implementation possibilities are evaluated. The second part of the chapter focusses on the problematic effects that poorly established sanctions regimes have on the prosecution of sanctions busters. The authors argue that the annulment of sanctions, or the threat of such, erodes the effectiveness and strength of the international sanctions regimes itself. The question arises whether annulment of sanctions on procedural grounds should automatically preclude criminal prosecution for violations prior to that annulment. Keywords targeted sanctions, international crimes, terrorism financing, annulment, criminal liability, nullem crime sine lege

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