The protection of human rights in the EU sanction mechanism: a new hope with the Magnitsky act

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Dumas, Maxence
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The European mechanism designed to impose restrictive measures is becoming one of the most important means used by the Union to act or react on the international stage to express its opposition. Moreover, the European Union carries in its DNA its commitment to the protection of human rights. Because of this very positive commitment to human rights, there must be no loopholes. Indeed, the credibility of the Union's external action depends on this irreproachability. Therefore, this paper looks for shortcomings in the system that would jeopardize the protection of human rights. While bearing the needs of the European Union and its Member States for external action, the mechanism of restrictive measures sees its effectiveness reduced due to strong pressures which reduce its potential. This analysis demonstrates that the too important leeway given to the Member States both in decision-making but also especially in implementation represents a loophole in the system, especially because of several internal and external influence at the national level. How does the system control this implementation and balance risks for human rights? While some implementation risks are monitored by the Court of Justice of the European Union, there are still many shortcomings that the Court cannot resolve on its own. This is where the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (Magnitsky Act) comes into play. This initiative may solve several remaining problems in the existing system of restrictive measures and represent a step forward for human rights, paving the way for future policies.
Second semester University: University of Nottingham
human rights, European Union, national state, sanctions, human rights monitoring