Foreign Minister Marise Payne on 5 August announced the Australian government will “reform and modernise” the country’s autonomous sanctions laws to target perpetrators of “egregious acts of international concern”.
Australia’s current “country-based” autonomous sanction framework, that only targets countries with financial consequences or other sanctions, will get a major upgrade as the new proposal will allow the government to impose sanctions on individuals and entities involved in gross acts, making sure there’s a personal cost for their actions.
The themes of conduct on which sanctions could be applied would include “proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, gross human rights violations, malicious cyber activity and serious corruption”. The minister said the new measures would give Australia the option to “impose targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against individuals and entities determined to be involved in such sanctionable conduct wherever it occurs”.
The statement came as part of the government’s response to the report of a parliamentary foreign affairs committee dated December 2020, recommending the government pass the laws.
The amendments to the existing Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011 are scheduled to take place “by the end of the year to achieve these important reforms”.
Representative of Australia’s Tibet Information Office, Karma Singey, said “it is really a welcome move that Australian government is considering enacting a similar Magnitsky-style law like the USA, Canada and some other democratic and freedom loving countries and it will send a strong and clear message to authoritarian regimes like CCP”.