Reforms to Australia's Autonomous Sanctions Regime
The Australian Government has released the report on the public consultation on the exposure draft of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations.
Autonomous Sanctions Regulations: report on the public consultation
The Australian Government has released the report on the public consultation on the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations.
Submissions received during the public consultation period expressed general support for the new autonomous sanctions framework, but proposed a number of amendments to the proposed Regulations to narrow its scope of application It has not been possible to accommodate the majority of recommended amendments, as to do so would deviate from the original policy approval for both the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011 and the proposed Regulations, which was to make the form, structure, scope and effect of laws implementing autonomous sanctions the same as Australian laws giving effect to United Nations Security Council sanctions.
The report is a detailed response to all recommendations, requests for clarification and comments arising from the submissions to the public consultation.
- Financial Services Council [PDF 1.22 MB]
- Queensland Law Society [PDF 1.49 MB]
- Burma Campaign Australia [PDF 185 KB]
- NSW Young Lawyers (International Law Committee) [PDF 47 KB]
- Universities Australia [PDF 205 KB]
- Australian Financial Markets Association [PDF 827 KB]
- Australian Bankers' Association [PDF 95 KB]
Autonomous Sanctions: a new legal framework
Australia has actively applied autonomous sanctions as a foreign policy tool for a number of years, relying on existing legislative instruments intended for other purposes.
To achieve more effectively the objectives underlying imposing autonomous sanctions, including the need to participate in concerted international action involving other, like-minded countries, the types of measures Australia would wish to implement are likely to go beyond the scope of these instruments.
Following the commencement of the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011 on 27 May 2011, the Government is now finalising the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations to be made under that Act that will give effect to autonomous sanctions in Australia.
The new legislative framework strengthens Australia’s autonomous sanctions regime by allowing greater flexibility in the range of measures Australia can implement. This will ensure Australia’s autonomous sanctions match the scope and extent of measures implemented by like-minded countries.
The new framework will assist with the administration of and compliance with, sanctions measures by removing distinctions between the scope and extent of autonomous sanctions and United Nations Security Council sanction enforcement laws. This will simplify compliance arrangements for those entities whose business requires a regular and active engagement with the operations of such laws.
Australia’s autonomous sanctions
Australia currently implements autonomous sanctions targeting situations of concern in Burma, Fiji, Syria and Zimbabwe, and supplementing United Nations Security Council sanctions in relation to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Libya.
These sanctions prohibit unauthorised trade in military and other strategic goods and services with, as well as financial or commercial dealings with named individuals and entities in, these countries.
Australia has also implemented targeted autonomous sanctions against individuals associated with the former Milosevic regime in the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Under the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations, the range of sanctions measures at the disposal of the Government will increase.
Autonomous Sanctions Regulations
The draft Regulations are divided into four substantive sections
Part 2 ("Autonomous sanctions", regulations 4 to 11) defines the scope of the individual sanctions measures (that is, the goods, services, commercial activities, individuals and entities to be subject to sanctions).
Part 3 ("Sanctions laws", regulations 12 to 17) defines the conduct that would contravene autonomous sanctions).
Part 4 ("Authorisations", regulations 18 to 19) defines the circumstances in which conduct that would otherwise contravene autonomous sanctions may be authorised.
Part 5 ("Dealing with assets", regulations 21 to 24) sets out operational arrangements relating to targeted financial sanctions (regulations 14 and 15).
The Government welcomes comments on the proposed regulations:
For more information about the new Autonomous Sanctions Regulations please download the presentation delivered at the recent national outreach program on sanctions: