“Magnitsky-style” amendments to the Autonomous Sanctions Act

Svoboda Alliance AU&NZ, Svoboda Alliance SA Inc and Svoboda Alliance VIC applaud the Parliament of Australia for passing “Magnitsky-style” amendments to the Autonomous Sanctions Act. The bill was passed unanimously in the Senate on 1 December 2021 and passed in the House of Representatives on 2 December 2021.

Autonomous Sanctions Amendment (Magnitsky-style and Other Thematic Sanctions) Act 2021 expands the use of autonomous sanctions which can now be applied to address particular issues (known as thematic sanctions) as opposed to being geographically focused (by reference to particular foreign countries).

Specifically, autonomous sanctions can be implemented to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; threats to international peace and security; malicious cyber activity; serious violations or serious abuses of human rights; or activities that undermine good governance or the rule of law, including serious corruption.

Sanctions could be applied both to entities and individuals, including immediate family members and beneficiaries of perpetrators of serious corruption, human rights abuses and cyberterrorism.

Sanctions measures will include restrictions on trade in goods and services, restrictions on engaging in commercial activities, targeted financial sanctions (including asset freezes) on designated persons and entities and travel bans.

Australia has now joined the global Magnitsky movement against corruption and human rights abuses regardless of where they are perpetrated. Human rights advocates and anti-corruption activists around the world are thankful for Australia’s support.

Svoboda Alliance AU&NZ, Svoboda Alliance SA Inc and Svoboda Alliance VIC thank Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Senator Kimberley Kitching, Senator David Fawcett, Penny Wong – Senator for SA and Kevin Andrews MP for the leadership in passing this important legislation.