Transatlantic Intelligencer: EU Terror Ruling, German Elections, and More

Transatlantic Intelligencer: EU Terror Ruling, German Elections, and More

EU COURT THREATENS U.N. ANTI-TERROR MEASURES -- In a move with potentially devastating consequences for the effectiveness of U.N. counterterrorism measures, an advocate general at the European Court of Justice, Miguel Poiares Maduro, recommended to the court last week that it annul EU financial sanctions against suspected al-Qaida financier, Yassin Abdullah Kadi (aka "Qadi"). The sanctions were originally applied by the EU in 2001 in conformity with U.N. Security Council Resolutions. Kadi's name was placed on the U.N.'s consolidated list of Qaida or Taliban affiliated persons and entities shortly after the 9/11 attacks. A series of U.N. Security Council Resolutions require U.N. member states to freeze the financial assets of such persons or entities.

In September 2005, the EU Court of First Instance rejected a complaint filed by Kadi that aimed to have the EU sanctions against him annulled. Kadi argued that the sanctions violated his "fundamental rights": including his right to property and to judicial review. The court ruled, however, that as members of the United Nations, EU states are obliged under the terms of the U.N. Charter to apply Security Council resolutions and hence that review of the "lawfulness" of Security Council decisions falls outside its purview.

In his advisory opinion, Poiares Maduro rejected the reasoning of the court in this connection and argued that for the purposes of EU Courts the "constitutional framework" of the European Union itself takes precedence over U.N. Security Council decisions. "...[A]lthough the Court takes great care to respect the obligations that are incumbent on the Community by virtue of international law," he writes,

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