The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice has dismissed three appeals brought by the Council, Commission and UK against the General Court's judgment in Kadi II. Yassin Kadi was added to the UN Security Council's terrorist asset freezing sanctions list just after 9/11, without giving him any reasons or rights of defence. He brought an action for annulment challenging the EU implementation of his UN listing. After losing in the Court of First Instance, he won his case in the European Court of Justice - Kadi I - annulling his designation. Kadi I is a key judgment on the relationship between EU and international law, and EU rights of defence, because the European Court was willing to review a European measure that implemented a UN Security Council resolution. In response to the ECJ's criticism, the United Nations created the office of Ombudsperson to review terrorist listings and make recommendations to the Security Council.
Mr Kadi was re-listed after Kadi I, this time after receiving a summary of the UN's reasons. The General Court in Kadi II held that his re-listing was also in breach of the general principles of European law. Just before the ECJ oral hearing, Mr Kadi was de-listed by the UN (following a recommendation from the Ombudsperson) and by the EU. The ECJ (not following the Advocate General's opinion, and disagreeing with the General Court's reasoning on a number of points) has dismissed the appeals on the grounds that none of the reasons given in the UN's summary for linking Mr Kadi with terrorist activities (all of which Mr Kadi refuted) had been substantiated with evidence.
The judgment in Kadi II is of considerable general significance in relation to the standard of review to be applied in sanctions cases, and the treatment of national security-sensitive material, in the European courts.
The judgment is here.
David Vaughan CBE QC and Maya Lester appeared for Mr Kadi in the ECJ, instructed by Carter-Ruck. David Anderson QC appeared for Mr Kadi before the ECJ in Kadi I and the General Court in Kadi II (with Maya Lester), before he became the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.