Peters & Peters

Common EU penalties for evading sanctions – Anna Bradshaw in Global Arbitration Review

On 25 May, the European Commission proposed measures to create of EU-wide rules to punish breaches of EU sanctions. This would have the effect of closing the loopholes whereby divergent criminal definitions and penalties across member states can mean that breaches can attract widely different responses from local judicial authorises or even go unpunished.


The first measure would see the violation of restrictive measures added to the list of EU crimes. This would help “set a common basic standard on criminal offences and penalties” across the EU and therefore make it easier to investigate, prosecute and punish breaches in all EU countries.


The second measure would introduce new reinforced rules on asset recovery and confiscation.


Dr. Anna Bradshaw was quoted in an article in Global Investigations Review (GIR) about this development, commenting that the task of drafting a clear and coherent definition of sanctions evasion will not be straightforward since the current EU civil regulation on the “circumvention” of EU sanctions is “vague and woolly”. It is particularly unclear in respect of the liability of lawyers acting for sanctioned individuals. Similarly vague criminal sanctions rules could be a “nightmare scenario” for practitioners.


“From a legal certainty perspective I’m monitoring it,” Anna told GIR. “It’s one that all lawyers, frankly, should be monitoring.”