Autonomous Sanctions Act

Autonomous Sanctions Act

In 2011 the Commonwealth Government enacted the Autonomous Sanctions Act (ASA). "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, the pursuit of internationally or regionally destabilising policies (such as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation), or to prevent regime leaders using Australia as a haven for misappropriated state or other funds.

The ASA 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; or
  • Suspension of non-humanitarian development assistance.

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

  • For individuals: up to 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine the greater of either three times the value of the transaction in breach of sanctions, or 2500 penalty units (A$450,000 as of 31 July 2015).
  • For bodies corporate: a fine the greater of either three times the value of the transaction in breach of sanctions, or 10,000 penalty units (A$1.8 million as of 31 July 2015).

For further information regarding the applicability of the ASA to your research, please refer to the following documents:

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