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Should Australia join the Global Magnitsky movement?

The Law Council generally welcomes the release of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade - Human Rights Sub-committee’s Report as part of its Inquiry into targeted sanctions to address human rights abuses. As highlighted in the Law Council’s recent media release, the recommendation that Australia should adopt a stand-alone Magnitsky-style legislation, is a move in the right direction.

In-principle the Law Council supports Australia’s use of sanctions to apply pressure to individuals responsible for serious violations of internationally recognised human rights and serious acts of corruption. It acknowledges the merit in facilitating international cooperation to deal with these issues through Magnitsky-style legislation. However, it emphasises that such legislation should include comprehensive safeguards that are consistent with upholding human rights.

At this stage, the Law Council welcomes the Committee’s recommendations that:

It has some reservations regarding other Committee recommendations/findings, such as:

The Law Council looks forward to responding to the detail of any proposed legislation, and anticipates closely consulting with the legal profession.

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