Queensland Law Society

Autonomous Sanctions Bill 2010

The Australian Government is obliged to implement United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed on individuals or entities. These are usually by way of controls on trade in goods and services and financial restrictions.

Independent of United Nations Security Council sanctions, Australia imposes further targeted sanctions against individuals and regimes. Whilst labelled ‘autonomous’, such sanctions are often imposed in collaboration with other members of the international community.

The Australian Government has defined its ‘autonomous sanctions’ as being:

  • punitive measures not involving the use of armed force;
  • imposed by a government as a matter of foreign policy; and
  • in situations of international concern.

The manner of sanction is generally of a similar type to United Nations Security Council sanctions, being:

  • targeted financial sanctions;
  • travel bans;
  • trade and arms embargoes.

The Queensland Law Society recently made submissions to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee regarding the Autonomous Sanctions Bill 2010, which proposes to implement the sanctions. These sanctions may have a practical impact on legal practitioners who engage in transactions that involve international entities.

For more information on the Bill, please visit the Department of the Senate website.