The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act: Taking Stock

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a vir­tu­al hear­ing to exam­ine imple­men­ta­tion of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

Authorized as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 114–328) and imple­ment­ed and expand­ed by Executive Order 13818 issued in December 2017, Global Magnitsky sanc­tions have been imposed on more than 240 indi­vid­u­als and enti­ties iden­ti­fied as respon­si­ble for seri­ous human rights abus­es or cor­rup­tion from more than 30 coun­tries. Legislation mod­eled on Global Magnitsky has been approved in sev­er­al places includ­ing Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, and is under con­sid­er­a­tion in oth­ers, includ­ing Australia and Japan. Designed to be an agile “smart” sanc­tions tool, Global Magnitsky sanc­tions are often referred to as a means to hold per­pe­tra­tors and cor­rupt per­sons account­able for their actions.

The leg­isla­tive author­i­ty for Global Magnitsky sanc­tions sun­sets in 2022. A bill to reau­tho­rize the sanc­tions has been intro­duced in the Senate (S. 93) and a House com­pan­ion bill will be intro­duced short­ly. As Congress begins the reau­tho­riza­tion process, the hear­ing pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty to review how the sanc­tions author­i­ty has been imple­ment­ed, how effec­tive the sanc­tions have been in achiev­ing their objec­tives, and whether any adjust­ments are need­ed to the orig­i­nal statute.

Witnesses

Panel I 

- Senator Benjamin L. Cardin

Panel II

- Michael Breen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Human Rights First 

- Brad Brooks-Rubin, General Counsel, The Sentry 

- Beth Van Schaack, Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights, Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University

- Tutu Alicante, Executive Director, EG Justice

- John Hughes, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics and Security Program, Center for A New American Security and Senior Vice President, Albright Stonebridge Group

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