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Significance Of Magnitsky Legislation Across The World

Author: Vaibhav Goyal

Designation: Student, Punjab University, Chandigarh


“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice”


Magnitsky enactment alludes to laws accommodating administrative authorizations against foreign people who have committed abuses of human rights or been engaged with huge debasement. It started with the United States which passed the principal Magnitsky enactment in 2012, following the demise of Sergei Magnitsky in Russia in 2009. Since then, various nations have passed comparable enactment including Russia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The Magnitsky Act, officially known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, is a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress and endorsed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2012, expecting to rebuff Russian authorities liable for the death of Russian tax legal counselor Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail in 2009 and to give perpetual ordinary exchange relations status to Russia.

From 2016, the bill, which applies universally, approves the U.S. government to authorize those it sees as offenders of human rights, freeze their resources, and restrict them from entering the U.S.

Sergei Magnitsky was an evaluator and legal advisor who was examining an enormous scale Russian tax fraud case while working for London-based investment Hermitage Capital. The asset, run by the US agent Bill Browder, said that huge millions of dollars in tax payments paid by Hermitage had been redirected to Russian authorities. Magnitsky was one of the various Hermitage partners arrested in 2008 after he notified the Russian government regarding his discoveries. The US and Britain were among those nations that said Magnitsky was imprisoned on manufactured proof with an end goal to disguise his charges of undeniable defilement.

He was in pre-trial detainment when he died in 2009, following claimed abuse in jail. The Russian government rejected that Magnitsky was tormented preceding his demise, however, has concealed the fact that he might not have been given brief clinical treatment for his ailment.

The Global Magnitsky Act successfully globalizes the specialists of the 2012 law by approving the President to deny individual into the United States, disavow any generally given visa, and restrict usage of property under U.S. purview of, and forbid U.S. people from going into exchanges with, any foreigner (individual or entity) that the President decides:

1. is "answerable for extrajudicial killings, torment, or other gross infringement of universally perceived human rights," as stated by 22 U.S.C. §2304 (d) (1), against those working:

  • to uncover criminal operations of government authorities or

  • to get, work out, protect, or advance human rights and rights, including rights to a reasonable fair trial and popularity-based democratic elections; or

2. is a foreign government official liable for legislations of huge defilement, a senior partner of a particular official, or a facilitator of such legislations, which incorporate the seizure of private or public resources for individual increase, debasement in government agreements or natural resource extraction, bribery, or the offshore sheltering of ill-gotten gains.

The Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, or the alleged European Magnitsky Act, has been implemented toward the start of December 2020. Presently, the EU didn't have any system for authorizing gross denials of human rights. To rebuff such infringement, it depended on country-explicit measures (e.g., sanctions on Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Belarus, Myanmar). The EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime is designed according to the US 2016 Global Magnitsky Act in continuation of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012.

As opposed to the US 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, the EU human rights system doesn't cover legislations of huge debasement. While the EU can force sanctions for the misappropriation of state assets through country-explicit measures (e.g., sanctions against Ukraine authorities), the EP brought in its goal on a European human rights infringement sanctions system for the consideration of misuses and legislations of systematic debasement as one of the violations culpable under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.

In 2016, Estonia had excessively cast a ballot to boycott outsiders considered guilty of abusing human rights from entering the country, in a law roused by the Sergei Magnitsky case. The law, passed consistently by parliament on Thursday (8 December 2016), qualifies Estonia to disallow entry to individuals if "there is data or valid justification to accept" that they partook in exercises which brought about the "demise or serious harm to health of an individual" or their "unwarranted conviction … for the criminal offense on political intentions".

In 2017, Canada passed the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) which is material all around the world to human rights violators and culprits of large defilement.

In 2017, Lithuania too passed Law on the Legal Position of Foreign Affairs No IX‐ 2206 the Law on Amendment of 133 of Article which is like the Magnitsky enactment applies to people liable for largescale defilement, illegal tax avoidance, or infringement of human rights.

In 2018, the amendment to another Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill going through parliament passed without a vote as it was upheld both by the decision Conservatives and the primary resistance Labor Party. "These (arrangements) will permit the UK to act against those answerable for serious offenses around the world. The UK goes to bat for human rights internationally," Boris Johnson said on Twitter.

In 2020, the active legislature of Kosovo embraced the Magnitsky Act, intended to punish appalling human rights victimizers.

In December 2020, Chair of the Human Rights Sub-board of trustees of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP said Magnitsky-style focused on authorizations will orient Australia to a worldwide development looking to restrict entry for human rights victimizers, corrupt officials and their beneficiaries to enjoy the proceeds of their abuses.

However, time to time, there will be a need to carefully examine the methodology upon which the countries be working in adding and deleting the names under the exclusion lists, so that, it must be done for the sole purpose of punishing gross human rights violators only.


Yuliya Miadzvetskaya, Habemus a European Magnitsky Act, European Law Blog, January 13, 2021

Michael Daventry, What is the Magnitsky Act and why is the EU planning one of its own?, Euronews., September 17, 2020

The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, Report published by Congressional Research Service (CRS), October 28, 2020

Hagar Hajjar Chemali, The European Magnitsky Law—A milestone with a lot of potential, Atlantic Council, December 10, 2020

Daniel Boffey, EU to use Magnitsky-style law to impose sanctions on human rights abusers, The Guardian, November 27, 2020

Philip Citowicki, Momentum Builds for an Australian Magnitsky Act, The Diplomat, February 17, 2021







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