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Law Library of Congress Report Explores Sanctions for Worldwide Human Rights Abuses

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The following is a guest post by Louis Myers, a legal reference librarian at the Law Library of Congress. Louis has authored several blog posts for In Custodia Legis, including New Acquisition: The Trial of Governor Picton, A Case of Torture in Trinidad, Indigenous Law Research Strategies: Settlement Acts and Looking into the Past: Space Telescopes and the Law of Outer Space.

Title page of the Law Library of Congress Report Worldwide Global Magnitsky Act Legislation

The Law Library of Congress recently published its report, Worldwide Global Magnitsky Act Legislation, which “discusses the Global Magnitsky Act as it was implemented in the United States and provides comparative information about foreign laws that operate in a similar manner.” The United States’ Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, enacted in 2016 (as part of the National Defense Appropriations for that year), allows the President of the United States to issue economic sanctions and travel bans on individuals engaged in human rights violations.

The report consists of a comparative analysis of U.S. law and the ten jurisdictions surveyed that have similar laws in place. Individual surveys are included for Australia, Canada, Estonia, the European Union, Gibraltar, Jersey, Latvia, Lithuania, and the United Kingdom.

The report begins with an explanation of the Global Magnitsky Act in the United States and its implementation, via statute and executive order, into the U.S. legal framework. It provides an overview of the criteria that must be satisfied for sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act. The analysis then compares how the included foreign jurisdictions have implemented their versions of the legislation.

Individual country surveys include an introduction and overview of their specific Global Magnitsky laws. In general, the same criteria used in the United States are also used in the selected jurisdictions, however, in some instances, other jurisdictions go beyond the scope covered by U.S. law. The individual surveys also generally cover the administration of the act by the domestic government. The surveys include national government resources and secondary sources when available.

This report is an addition to the Law Library’s Legal Reports (Publications of the Law Library of Congress) collection, which includes over 3,000 legal reports covering a variety of jurisdictions, researched and written by foreign legal specialists with expertise in each area.

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