30 September 2021

The Morrison-Joyce Government plans to amend the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011.


Labor has been calling for dedicated Magnitsky-style sanctions since July 2020. It is past time for the Morrison-Joyce government to act and to send a strong signal to human rights abusers around the world.


The US, UK and Canada all have Magnitsky-style sanctions regimes and demonstrated their leadership on this issue.


The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade recommended the Australian Government introduce legislation to enable Magnitsky sanction in December 2020.


Labor introduced a Private Senator’s Bill on 4 August 2021 to enable Magnitsky-style sanctions, forcing the Morrison-Joyce Government to finally respond to Labor’s calls for this important legislation.


The Morrison-Joyce Government has provided no details or proposals on how it plans to enable sanctions against human rights abusers and corrupt officials around the world.


Foreign Minister Marise Payne has merely made an announcement of an intention to act before the end of the year and no legislation has been introduced to date.


The Morrison Government’s delays have sent the wrong signal - that Australia is not committed to serious action on human rights abuses.


Given the importance of this reform to Australia’s national interest, Labor looks forward to being consulted on the Government’s proposal.