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A new Sanctions Law anticipated in Jersey

13 November 2018

Bringing you a brief explanation of sanctions, how Jersey currently deals with them and the reasoning behind a proposed new Jersey Sanctions Law. If you need further advice or help on anything mentioned, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

The proposed new Law

On 23 October 2018 the Draft Sanctions and Asset-Freezing (Jersey) Law 201- (the "Draft Sanctions Law") was lodged au Greffe by the Minister for External Relations. This is a prerequisite before the Draft Sanctions Law can be debated by the States of Jersey. It is envisaged the Draft Sanctions Law will be passed and receive Royal Assent before March 2019. March 2019 being the date when Brexit is scheduled and when new autonomous legislation should be fully in force.

What are sanctions?

A sanction is a foreign policy tool. It is adopted, usually by several nations acting together, (notably the United Nations ("UN") and the European Union ("EU")) against a regime, state, organisation, individual or entity believed to be violating international law. Sanctions can also be imposed by individual states.

Jersey is not a member of the UN in its own right. But the United Kingdom's ("UK") UN membership extends to Jersey and therefore, like all UN members, Jersey has an obligation to implement UN sanctions. In line with Jersey's commitment to meeting international standards, Jersey also has a longstanding policy of implementing EU sanctions.

How are sanctions currently implemented in Jersey?

Both UN and EU sanctions are enacted in Jersey by sanctions Orders, made under the European Union Legislation Implementation (Jersey) Law 2014, which implements the relevant EU Council Regulation. There are a number of other pieces of legislation that make up Jersey's sanctions regime:

  • Terrorist Asset-Freezing (Jersey) Law 2011 ("TAFL");
  • United Nations Financial Sanctions (Jersey) Law 2017 ("UNFSL");
  • Money Laundering and Weapons Development (Directions) (Jersey) Law 2012; and
  • Crime and Security (Jersey) Law 2003.

Why is Jersey considering a new sanctions law?

Jersey is considering the Draft Sanctions Law as a response to Brexit; and due to the UK's subsequent decision to introduce the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 ("SAMLA"), enabling it to implement its own autonomous sanctions.
The main purpose of the Draft Sanctions Law is to add the power to implement UK sanctions under SAMLA. It would also repeal TAFL and UNFSL, and incorporate them, with amendments, into the new Law. The changes would bring all of Jersey's key sanctions Laws together into one piece of legislation.

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