The Court of Justice’s Difficulty with Reviewing Smart Sanctions as Illustrated by Rosneft (2019)


This article analyses the European Court of Justice (The General Court of the EU (formerly the Court of First Instance) in Luxembourg, hereafter ‘the Court’.) judgment of 13 September 2018 on Rosneft (Case T-715/14) (The Rosneft T-715/14 includes more than one applicant: Rosneft, RN-Shelf-Arctic, RN-Shelf-Far East, RNExploration and Tagulskoe, together referred to as ‘Rosneft’.) in the light of the obligation to state reasons. Rosneft claimed an infringement by the Council (The Council of the European Union, ‘the Council’.) on its obligation to make such statement under Article 41 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (‘The Charter’). The Court concluded that the reasons given by the Council were sufficient (T-715/14 Rosneft paragraph 127). The article will compare the reasoning of the Council and Court with the obligation to state reasons as interpreted in other Russian oil and banking sector judgments, in general and in asset-freeze cases (‘In general’ has to be read to mean ‘not in EU common foreign security policy (CFSP) cases’.). According to Rosneft, the rule of law is substituted with the rule of politics.

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