Villacis, Eva: Al Qaida Sanctions Regime of the United Nations Security Council and Due Process Standards: Utopia or Reality?

Key words:

international terrorism, the UN Security Council, counter-terrorism regimes, Al Qaida Sanctions Committee, listing and delisting process, sanctions list, the UN Ombudsperson, due process standards


Within the framework of the counter-terrorism measures, the UN Security Council adopted targeted sanctions against individuals and corporate entities. Through its resolutions No. 1267 (1999) and 1373 (2001), adopted under the Chapter VII of the UN Charter, it established two specific sanctions regimes aimed at persons associated with the terrorist groups Taliban and Al Qaida and financing international terrorism. Furthermore, these resolutions have also imposed on States a number of obligations of a general nature and mainly the obligation to implement the sanctions at the national level. Over the years, the implementation of these regimes has faced serious criticism due to the encroachment on human rights of targeted persons and the lack of compliance with international due process standards. That regards particularly the Al Qaida regime under resolution 1267 (1999) upon which the UN Sanctions Committee created a special “Sanctions list” where all those suspicious of association with Al Qaida terrorist organization are enlisted. The Council has been responsive to the criticism with the consequence of adopting different improvements in the listing and delisting procedures. Perhaps the most remarkable step was a creation of the independent Office of the UN Ombudsperson to assist in the delisting process. However, despite all the changes undertaken so far, some fundamental problems with the regime still persist. This article deals with the overview of Al Qaida Sanctions regime, its improvements in the past years and the challenges that still exist.