Strengthening Australia’s sanctions laws

  • Media release
05 August 2021

The Australian Government will reform and modernise Australia’s autonomous sanctions laws to enable the imposition of targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against the perpetrators of egregious acts of international concern.

The reforms will expand upon Australia’s current country-based autonomous sanctions framework to specify themes of conduct to which sanctions could be applied, such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, gross human rights violations, malicious cyber activity and serious corruption.

Once the types of conduct are established, Australia will have the ability to impose targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against individuals and entities determined to be involved in such sanctionable conduct wherever it occurs, without having to establish specific country-based regimes.

These reforms are being undertaken as part of the Australian Government’s response, tabled today, to the December 2020 report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Criminality, corruption and impunity: Should Australia join the Global Magnitsky movement?

I referred this inquiry to the Committee in December 2019 and thank the Committee members for their collaborative, cross-party approach and commitment to this important issue.

The Government plans to introduce amendments to the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011 by the end of the year to achieve these important reforms.

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