July 17, 2020

What Britain’s New Sanctions Reveal About US-UK Relations

Source: Lawfare

Journalist: Hilary Hurd

On July 6, the U.K. did something that it had never done before: it unilaterally sanctioned dozens of individuals across the globe for human rights abuses. Acting pursuant to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018’s human rights provision—also known as the Magnitsky amendment (not to be confused with two U.S. laws by the same name)—the U.K. imposed assets freezes and issued travel bans against a range of bad actors, from Russian nationals involved in the death of accountant Sergei Magnitsky to Saudi nationals responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, to individuals and groups responsible for systemic violence in Myanmar and North Korea. While the U.K. has long been in the sanctioning business, its discretion over whom to sanction and how quickly to do so was previously limited due to its preference for coordinating sanctions policy through the European Union and often with the United Nations. But now that Britain has formally left the EU and adopted its own independent sanctions legislation, the U.K. has greater reign to sanction whom it wants.

Read the full story and more in Lawfare.


  • Elizabeth Rosenberg

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Energy, Economics and Security Program

    Elizabeth Rosenberg is a former Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. In this capacity, she publ...