New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

Autonomous Sanctions Bill introduced

11 May 2017

Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee has introduced the Autonomous Sanctions Bill to Parliament.

This Bill establishes a framework for the implementation of autonomous sanctions by New Zealand.

The explanatory note to the bill says autonomous sanctions are restrictive measures designed to influence the behaviour of a foreign individual, entity, or regime that is responsible for a situation of international concern. Sanctions can take a variety of forms.

The aim of sanctions is to exert political and economic pressure to bring about change, as well as to limit the adverse consequences of the situation (for example, by limiting access to military goods or military training).

New Zealand currently has the ability to impose a limited range of sanctions and sanction-type measures in an ad hoc way within existing policy and legal frameworks. These include the refusal of entry visas, diplomatic sanctions (such as the expulsion of diplomats), the suspension of official visits, and the suspension of aid and co-operation.

The bill will enable the Government to:

  • designate individuals, entities, assets and services to be targeted by autonomous sanctions;

  • impose prohibitions or restrictions in relation to designated individuals or entities, including travel bans and prohibitions on remaining in New Zealand, and prohibitions or restrictions on dealing with assets or services linked to those individuals or entities (including asset freezes);

  • prohibit or restrict other kinds of specified dealings with designated assets and services (for example, trade embargoes);

  • impose duties in relation to compliance with autonomous sanctions.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019