US Magnitsky Accountability Act Discussed at House of Commons

International Criminal Law Journal

On Wednesday 14th November at Portcullis House, Steven Kay QC joined a roundtable discussion hosted by the British foreign policy think-tank, The Henry Jackson Society.

The topic under discussion was the fate of Russian lawyer and whistleblower, Sergei Magnitsky, and international efforts to sanction those responsible for his death.

Also on the panel were former British Ambassador to Russia Sir Anthony Brenton; Hermitage Capital CEO, Bill Browder; Guardian journalist and author of Mafia State, Luke Harding; and Director of Research at the Henry Jackson Society, Michael Weiss. The panel was chaired by the Conservative MP, Jonathan Djanogly.

Panelists discussed details of the Magnitsky Accountability Act, which will be the subject of a vote in the US Congress on 16 November, as well as proposals for similar legislation in European countries including the United Kingdom.

The broader debate focused upon Western countries’ business relationships with Russia, poor diplomatic relations, the realities imposed by the gas market and, addressing the notion of ‘dirty’ Russian money in London.

Aside from Magnitsky Act-type legislation, the panel discussed the potential utility and constraints attached to greater use of existing UK legislation, such as the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act and the 2006 Fraud Act. In particular, the panel felt that the existing legislation was underused despite inherent difficulties in meeting the standard of proof and in the collection of evidence. Steven Kay QC suggested that the lower threshold of culpability used in command responsibility cases in international criminal law, ‘known or should have known,’ could be used to enable seizure of proceeds of crime laundered through London Banks. He also put forward that in order to address a problem essentially international in character, law-makers and lawyers could revisit Trinidad and Tobago’s 1989 proposition relating to the International Criminal Court, which suggested corruption and money laundering as proper candidates for international jurisdiction.

Finally, Sir Anthony Brenton drew the discussion to a close by emphasising that in light of the shifting economic balance, there is an opportunity for the European Union collectively to press Russia on reforming its business practices and regulation. займы на карту без отказа быстрые займы онлайн https://zp-pdl.com www.zp-pdl.com срочный займ

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