1.On 11 October 2016 the Justice Sub-Committee of the European Union Committee took evidence on the legality of the EU sanctions listing-process. Our aim was to establish the reasons for the high number of EU sanctions cases being annulled (struck down) by the General Court of the EU, and to investigate what measures were being taken to address this by the EU Member States and the Council of the European Union (the Council). In addition, the sessions followed up on points that the Justice Sub-Committee had raised in correspondence with the Government on EU sanctions listings over the previous 18 months.
2.Our first panel comprised three witnesses from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Paul Williams, Director of Multilateral Policy Department; Andrew Murdoch, Legal Adviser, and Matthew Findlay, Deputy Head of Multilateral Policy Department. Our second session comprised Maya Lester QC, of Brick Court Chambers, and Mr Michael Bishop, Senior Legal Adviser, EU Council Legal Service. Ms Lester also provided written evidence. We are very grateful to our witnesses for the evidence they provided.
3.The report has four chapters. This chapter introduces the inquiry; Chapter 2 sets out the background to EU sanctions policy and procedure; Chapter 3 outlines the evidence we received; and in Chapter 4 we draw conclusions and make recommendations to the Government and the Council.
4.We make this report for information.