The Kadi saga as a tale of "strict observance" of international law : obligations under the UN charter, targeted sanctions and judicial review in the European Union
Title: The Kadi saga as a tale of "strict observance" of international law : obligations under the UN charter, targeted sanctions and judicial review in the European Union
Author: LARIK, Joris
Citation: Netherlands international law review, 2014, Vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 23-42
This article addresses the question whether the European Union defaulted on the ‘strict observance’ of international law and ‘respect’ for the UN Charter, which are now express objectives of the EU following the Lisbon reform, in the course of the famous Kadi cases. With the final appeals judgment having been handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union in July 2013, this question can now be conclusively answered in the negative. Despite the general tension these legal challenges created between EU law and international law, the EU managed, in the course of twelve years, to weave a seamless coat of compliance with international law. The article contrasts this finding with the general academic discourse on this case law, which tends to depict Kadi as a ‘sacrifice’ of compliance with international law for the benefit of fundamental rights (as well as the autonomy of the EU legal order). By retracing the entirety of this string of cases, the article demonstrates that, all rhetoric aside and for all practical purposes, the EU courts and other institutions managed to avoid any violations of international legal obligations towards the UN Security Council in this matter. The EU discontinued its own sanctions against Mr Kadi only after he had been delisted by the UN by means of a political decision, not by virtue of judicial intervention.
Published online: 24 April 2014
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