Establishing an European Magnitsky Commission

This Policy Brief outlines a proposal to establish a non-governmental European Magnitsky Commission (EMC), constituted by 5-7 respected and renowned persons with high integrity and pertinent competence in international human rights and international criminal law. The Commission should be supported by a secretariat of legal experts and persons with strong competence in human rights and international criminal law fact-work.

Even though the EMC will be a non-governmental body, it should seek recognition and support from democratic states that have enacted or are in the process of enacting Magnitsky legislation. In particular, it should seek endorsement and support from the European Parliament to ensure that the EU Council takes notice of its submissions and recommendations.

The EMC may have three main goals, namely to:

  1. Submit particularly important cases of gross violations of international human rights, core international crimes or significant corruption (within the mandates of the different legislations) for Magnitsky sanctions by the EU and countries with Magnitsky legislation.
  2. Promote criteria based Magnitsky legislation and policies, coordination among states that list persons for Magnitsky sanctions, harmonisation of legislations to include both human rights violations and significant corruption and monitor enforcement of sanctions.
  3. Educate the public about the specificities of Magnitsky conduct (e., crimes that fall under the scope of Magnitsky laws) and why democratic states need to fight impunity for such conduct by targeted sanctions.

In the following, the main ideas of this proposal will be presented. The purpose of the paper is to create interest and support for the idea of setting up the EMC, and in developing Magnitsky sanctions further into a coordinated and powerful tool to deter and address human rights violations and significant corruption in line with international law and help restore support for democratic principles.


Read the Policy Brief by Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee:
European Magnitsky Commission_2021_GES

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Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal

Acting Secretary GeneralEmail: [email protected]Phone: +47 95 21 03 07Twitter: @GunnarEkelveSly
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