This string of case law received vivid attention from international and EU lawyers, as it put the spotlight both on the relationship between international and EU law as well as on the nexus of security and justice, as it reveals the tension between the UN’s response to international terrorism and the safeguarding of fundamental rights at the regional level.

With the final appeals judgment having been handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union last summer, the question whether the EU violated its international obligations in the course of this dispute, according to Larik, can now be conclusively answered in the negative. The EU managed, in the course of twelve years, to weave a seamless coat of compliance with international law. The article contrasts this finding with the general academic discourse, which tends to depict Kadi as a ‘sacrifice’ of compliance with international law for the benefit of fundamental rights, as well as the autonomy of the EU legal order.

By retracing the entirety of this series of cases, the article demonstrates that, all rhetoric aside and for all practical purposes, the EU courts and other institutions managed to avoid any violations of international legal obligations towards the UN Security Council in this matter. The EU discontinued its own sanctions against Mr Kadi only after he had been delisted by the UN by means of a political decision, not by virtue of judicial intervention

  • The Netherlands International Law Review (NILR), established in 1953, is one of the world’s leading journals in the fields of public and private international law. It is published three times per year, and features peer-reviewed, innovative, and challenging articles, case notes, commentaries, book reviews and overviews of the latest legal developments in The Hague. The NILR is published by T.M.C. Asser Press, in cooperation with the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, and is distributed by Cambridge University Press.

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