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Egypt’s assurances insufficient for EU sanctions


Mohamed Hosni Elsayed Mubarak and others v Council of the European Union (Joined Cases C-72/19P and C-145/19P, judgment of 3 December 2020)

The Court of Justice of the European Union has annulled sanctions imposed by the EU between 2016 and 2018 on the late President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak and members of his family, overturning the judgments of the General Court which had upheld them.

The Council of the EU had accepted assurances given by the Egyptian authorities as to the manner in which the applicants’ fundamental rights had been observed. This was insufficient, in the view of the CJEU at [40]:

“The Council cannot conclude that a listing decision is taken on a sufficiently solid factual basis before having itself verified that the rights of the defence and the right to effective judicial protection were observed at the time of the adoption of the decision by the third State in question.”

The CJEU additionally found that the failure by an applicant to put forward objective and specific evidence of a failure to respect those rights could not excuse the Council from its duty to verify that they had been observed.

Having quashed the decisions of the General Court, the CJEU further found that it had sufficient information to give final judgment in the matter. The sanctions were accordingly annulled.

The judgment is here.

Lord Anderson of Ipswich KBE QC appeared before the CJEU for the Mubarak family, instructed by Carter Ruck Solicitors.