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Autonomous Sanctions Procedures

In 2011 the Commonwealth Government enacted the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011. "Autonomous sanctions" are punitive measures not involving the use of armed force that the Australian Government chooses to take as a foreign policy response to situations of international concern. These measures seek to apply pressure on regimes to desist in the repression of human rights and democratic freedoms, or the pursuit of internationally or regionally destabilising policies (such as WMD proliferation), or to prevent regime leaders using Australia as a haven for misappropriated state or other funds.

The Autonomous Sanctions Act places restrictions on the University’s interaction with persons and organisations who are associated with countries on the sanctions list. Some of the relevant restrictions are:

  • restrictions on public-provided financial assistance for trade or investment with a sanctioned country;
  • embargoes on the supply of military or strategic (WMD dual use) goods;
  • suspension of non-humanitarian development assistance.

It is an offence to breach these restrictions. The penalty for an offence is:

  • for individuals: a maximum 10 years' imprisonment or a maximum fine the greater of 3 times the value of the transaction in breach of sanctions (if this can be calculated) or A$275,000.
  • for bodies corporate: a maximum fine the greater of 3 times the value of the transaction in breach of sanctions (if this can be calculated) or A$1.1 million.

Relevant documents: