Corruption and sanctions – Michael Drury and John Binns write for Money Laundering Bulletin

Corruption and sanctions – Michael Drury and John Binns write for Money Laundering Bulletin

BCL partners Michael Drury and John Binns’ article titled ‘Corruption and sanctions: the wrong tool for the job?’ has been published by Money Laundering Bulletin.

Here’s an extract from the full article:

“A recent open letter to the Foreign Secretary from a group of 45 UK Parliamentarians has drawn attention to the issue of whether sanctions, specifically those popularly referred to as ‘Magnitsky sanctions’, should be used to target corruption.

The signatories include the former anti-corruption tsar, John Penrose, former high court judge, Baroness Butler-Sloss, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams of Oystermouth, and are led by Lord Alton, a former Liberal Democrat chief whip. They call attention to the fact that the so-called Magnitsky amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA) targets only human rights abusers, in contrast to Magnitsky laws in the US and elsewhere, which also target people identified as responsible for corruption offences.

The letter goes on to say that ‘failing to harmonise our sanctions measures with those of our allies [risks] sending all the wrong signals to those involved in such crimes’, and that ‘given how attractive the United Kingdom is for many corrupt individuals who seek to buy property and invest money in the UK, it is crucial that our legislation harmonises with the US and Canadian Magnitsky legislation and includes corruption’.”

This article was originally published by Money Laundering Bulletin on 07/04/2020. You can read the full version by PDF here or by logging on to their website here.

Michael Drury is a partner at BCL with a diverse practice, ranging from extradition to representing individuals in regulatory proceedings brought by the FCA; acting in criminal investigations by the SFO; and is a leading expert on surveillance and investigatory powers as well as information law and cybercrime.

John Binns is a partner at BCL, specialising in business crime and proceeds of crime. Most of his cases involve an international element, and he has advised clients on appeals to the CJEU in the context of international corruption allegations and targeted financial sanctions.