Thursday, January 15, 2009

EU Terror List and the Rule of Law

In what could be an unprecedented event, several European judgments were recently subject to a full page ad in The New York Times (December 30, 2008, A9). In this ad, the “European Committee in search of Justice” and “The National Association of Iranian Academics inBritain” urge the US authorities to revoke the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran's terrorist designation following several European judgments concluding that the EU decision to maintain this organization (known as the PMOI) on the EU "terror list" was illegal.

Among the judgments mentioned, the most recent one is a judgment issued by the EU Court of First Instance (strangely enough, the ad refers instead and inaccurately to the EU Court of Justice) in Case T-284/08 People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran v. Council.

Those of us who think that the so-called “war on terror” had led to outrageous violations of the rule of law would certainly be pleased to learn that in the case, the EU Court annuls (for an embarrassing third time!) a decision of the Council of the EU freezing the funds of the PMOI on the grounds that the Council violated has violated the group’s rights of defence and its right to effective judicial protection

This judgment follows a long series of EU judgments where EU “anti-terror” measures, aimed at natural and legal persons suspected of terrorism activities, were found to infringe their fundamental rights as protected under EU law (see in particular the widely discussed Kadi case).


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