By Leon Chung, Christine Wong and Shannan Casey

On 2 December 2021 the Australian Parliament passed the Autonomous Sanctions Amendment (Magnitsky-style and Other Thematic Sanctions) Bill 2021 (Bill) introducing a new thematic sanctions regime to the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011 (Act) and Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011 (Regulations).

As outlined in our previous update, the amendments expand Australia’s existing autonomous sanctions regime (which enabled Australia to sanction specific countries) to a regime where Australia can directly sanction individuals and entities for engaging in particular types of thematic conduct. The expansion aligns Australia with similar ‘Magnitsky’ style regimes that operate in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Canada.

In practice, this means that the Australian Government will be able to impose targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on entities and individuals who are responsible for, or complicit in, egregious conduct identified in the Regulations. This includes malicious cyber activity and corruption.

The amendments will take effect immediately after the Bill receives royal assent (which is typically between 7 to 10 working days). The Government has indicated that it will amend the Regulations once the bill is passed1 and has released an exposure draft of the amendments (Draft Regulations).

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Leon Chung
Leon Chung
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+61 2 9225 5716
Christine Wong
Christine Wong
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Jacqueline Wootton
Jacqueline Wootton
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Elizabeth Macknay
Elizabeth Macknay
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Tania Gray
Tania Gray
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Shannan Casey
Shannan Casey
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+61 2 9322 4651