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  • William Kanaan

Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020

The Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 came into force on 6 July 2020.

The Act allows the UK government to put in place sanctions measures to deter and provide accountability for activities which, if carried out by or on behalf of a State within the territory of that State, would amount to a serious violation by that State of an individual’s right to life, right not to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and right to be free from slavery.

Such activities can be carried out by either a state or individual and either may be designated under the Regulations.

The definition of “involved” is wide and includes: engaging in; facilitating; inciting; promoting or supporting an activity; concealing evidence of the activity; providing financial services, funds, goods or technology knowing or suspecting they might contribute to the activity; profiting or benefiting from the activity; failing to investigate responsibility for the activity in some circumstances; and contravening the prohibitions in the Regulations.

The powers given to the government allow it to freeze assets, ban travel to the UK and prohibit the participation in activities which circumvent the prohibitions or facilitate such contravention.

Violations of the prohibitions amount to criminal offences and are punishable by a maximum of 7 years imprisonment and/or a fine.

The Regulations apply within the UK and in relation to the conduct of all UK persons, wherever in the world they are located. They also apply to all companies established in any part of the UK, including branches of UK companies based oversees.


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