Journal Article

Peripheral Hegemony in the Quest to Ensure Security Council Accountability for its Individualized UN Sanctions Regimes

Larissa J. van den Herik

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 19, issue 3, pages 427-449
Published in print December 2014 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online September 2014 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/kru014
Peripheral Hegemony in the Quest to Ensure Security Council Accountability for its Individualized UN Sanctions Regimes

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  • Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

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A demand for strengthened Security Council accountability has been put forward quite vigorously in the context of individualized UN sanctions regimes. This accountability gap was effectively created when the heavily critiqued Security Council policy to impose comprehensive sanctions transmuted into designs of targeted sanctions regimes in the 1990s. The traditional procedures and accountability mechanisms that controlled the comprehensive sanctions against states were overall political and diplomatic in nature and not considered fit for the new sanctions paradigm which had the individual rather than the state as its core focus. The shift to targeted sanctions thus required fresh thinking about and new approaches to Security Council accountability. This article examines issues of Security Council accountability in relation to individualized UN sanctions regimes. It particularly assesses and appraises the role of external forces in bringing about change within the UN system, with a focus on the ECJ and its Kadi case. While acknowledging the multiple positive effects that the Kadi case has had in terms of triggering innovations at UN level, the article presents the argument that peripheral litigation may not always be sufficiently sensitive to intricacies and limits of a more global and centralized organization and it may not take full account of the systemic implications of its judgment beyond the concrete confines of the case that is being adjudicated. More concretely regarding the external effects of the Kadi II judgment, it is posited that the ECJ’s principled, or perhaps hegemonic, approach and its non-negotiable commitment to high standards of judicial review might actually have negative repercussions for broader attempts to foster accountability processes across all UN sanctions regimes. By way of conclusion, some afterthoughts are offered regarding the focus that is needed in ongoing and future sanctions accountability discussions which go beyond Kadi and the 1267/1989 Al Qaeda counter-terrorism sanctions regime.

Journal Article.  11175 words. 

Subjects: Military and Defence Law ; Public International Law ; Police and Security Services ; Terrorism and National Security Law ; Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

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