Law of Ukraine on Sanctions and Sanction Lists

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Khyzhniak Kseniia

Lawyer specializing in criminal law, international criminal law and international human rights law.

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Law of Ukraine on Sanctions and Sanction Lists

Reading time: 5 min.

One of the most widespread international legal mechanisms is the application of sanctions. Most often, sanctions are used to effectively combat the hostile influence of an enemy state, its legal entities and individuals against another state. In this article, we will consider in detail the Law of Ukraine on sanctions and sanctions lists. Specialists of our law office Prykhodko and Partners will tell you in detail about the changes made to this Law.

Legislative framework of the issue

The Law of Ukraine "On Sanctions" has been in force in our country since 2014. The main purpose of the Law is to protect national security and national interests. To achieve the specified goals, restrictive measures (including economic ones) may be applied. With the start of a full-scale war, amendments should be made to the Law of Ukraine on sanctions and sanctions lists.

In particular, in July 2023, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law on the Mechanism for the Application of Sanctions. Among other things, it specifies the creation of a register of persons subject to sanctions, as well as the possibility of challenging the restrictions. The main goal of creating the State Register of Sanctions is to provide civil society with access to reliable and up-to-date information about all subjects included in the sanctions lists.

The State Register was put into effect by his Decree of the President of Ukraine (dated January 29, 2024).

Among the sources of information entered in the Register: the decision of the National Security Council, the decision of the court on the application of the sanction. The following are not considered confidential information:

  1. Personal data of individuals.
  2. Information related to the implementation of the current Ukrainian legislation on sanctions.

At the same time, certain changes were made to some articles of the Code of Administrative Procedure of Ukraine, which consist in increasing the terms of consideration of such cases in courts of various instances (primarily, appellate and first instance). Only the resolutive and introductory part of the decision (i.e., abbreviated decision) can be announced at the court session.

Algorithm of actions when entering the sanctions lists

In some cases, the process of using sanctions may take place without the participation of the person to whom they were applied. The exception is the initiation of sanctions by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. In this case, you can track the movement of the relevant resolution.

As a rule, access to information related to the grounds for applying sanctions, available evidence, etc., is limited. Especially when it comes to sanctions initiated by the SBU. For example, such information may fall under the category of "state secret".

Accordingly, a person loses the opportunity to form a position regarding the grounds for filing a claim.

The main thing to do after you have learned about being on the sanctions list is to enlist the support of professional lawyers.

Prykhodko and Partners specialists have the necessary practical experience in similar cases.

Let's start with the fact that the decision of the National Security Council can be appealed in the Supreme Court of Ukraine. This is justified by the fact that cases regarding the appeal of actions/inactions/acts of the highest authorities are considered in the Supreme Court.

If all available means of national legal protection are exhausted, our lawyers can prepare an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Such an application is submitted within 6 months from the day when the final decision of the national court was adopted. It is the court that will decide whether the state really committed a violation.

Grounds for filing a lawsuit

Next, we offer to consider in more detail the grounds for filing a lawsuit. The Law of Ukraine "On Sanctions" contains general principles related to the application of sanctions. Among the most common justifications for the claim:

  1. The application of sanction restrictions is indefinite (part five of Article 5).
  2. Failure to comply with legislative norms regarding the principles and grounds for applying sanctions (parts one and two of Article 1).
  3. Legislative basis.
  4. The need to observe the principles of a democratic society.
  5. Application of sanctions without proper grounds, to the wrong subject.

However, it is worth noting the following: after access to the materials of the case on the introduction of sanctions, the grounds of the claim may be changed.

Assistance of professional lawyers in appealing sanctions

Therefore, the application of sanctions in case of violation of human rights standards may lead to the fact that the rendered decision can be appealed. The effectiveness of sanctions largely depends on the clarity and quality of legal acts that are responsible for establishing the mechanism for their adoption. If such a mechanism is insufficiently substantiated and unclear, then the practice of its application will lead to numerous appeals to the ECHR.

That is why contesting inclusion in the sanctions lists allows you to protect your own rights and interests. The key to the long-term success of our Prykhodko and Partners law office is an individual approach to each case and work for results.

Services we can offer:

  • Audit of business documentation, with the aim of identifying counterparties, cooperation with which could potentially be the basis for the application of sanctions.
  • Appeal of the decree of the President of Ukraine, according to which sanctions were applied, to the Administrative Court of Cassation of the Supreme Court.
  • Analysis of the presence of potential grounds for the application of sanctions in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine.
  • Analysis of counterparties in order to identify riskiness.
  • Collection of documents for the purpose of confirming the groundlessness of the application of sanctions.
  • Sending requests to regulatory authorities.
  • Initiation of verification of economic activity by the Security Service of Ukraine, with the aim of proving the groundlessness of the application of sanctions.
  • Risk analysis of a potential business partnership.
  • Review of existing business relationship risks.
  • Risk analysis of contractual obligations.
  • Analysis of the reputation of foreign business partners.

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