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University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series

Faculty of Law, UNSW
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Michaelsen, Christopher --- "The Security Council's Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Regime: "Essential Tool" or Increasing Liability for the UN's Counterterrorism Efforts?" [2010] UNSWLRS 37

Last Updated: 11 September 2010

The Security Council’s Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Regime: “Essential Tool” or Increasing Liability for the UN’s Counterterrorism Efforts?

Christopher Michaelsen, University of New South Wales

This paper is available for download at


This paper was published in the Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 33: 5, 448 - 463.


This article examines the UN Security Council’s 1267 counterterrorism sanctions regime. Initially adopted in 1999, this sanctions regime targets individuals and entities suspected of associating with Al Qaeda and/or the Taliban and it requires UN Member States to freeze their assets and implement travel bans. Central to the operation of the sanctions regime is a “Consolidated List,” which is maintained by the so-called 1267 Committee, a sub-committee of the Security Council. This Committee possesses discretionary powers to list and de-list targeted individuals and entities that have been criticized as incompatible with internationally recognized due process guarantees. Reviewing recent developments, including a landmark decision by the European Court of Justice, the article addresses the need for additional safeguards and discusses reform options available to the Security Council. It examines the most recent reform efforts introduced by Security Council resolution 1904 (2009) and argues that a comprehensive review and reform of the 1267 sanctions is crucial if the regime is to provide an “essential tool” in the UN counterterrorism efforts.

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