On 30 April 2015, the General Court, in Fares Al-Chihabi v Council of the EU (Case T-593/11), rejected an application for the annulment of Syrian sanctions insofar as they concerned Fares Al-Chihabi. Al-Chihabi, a Syrian businessman who is President of the Aleppo Chamber of Industry, was initially listed on the Syrian sanctions list in 2011 pursuant to Council Decision 2011/522/CFSP, amending Council Decision 2011/273/CFSP, and Council Regulation (EU) No 878/2011, amending Council Regulation (EU) No 442/2011, for economically supporting the Syrian regime responsible for the violent repression of the civilian population in Syria.
Al-Chihabi relied on five pleas in law to support his application, claiming: (1) an infringement of the right to good administration and a breach of the obligation to state reasons; (2) an infringement of the rights of the defence and the right to effective judicial protection; (3) an infringement of fundamental rights, including the right to property, the freedom to conduct a business and the right to the presumption of innocence; (4) an infringement of the right to privacy and breach of the principle of proportionality; and (5) manifest error in assessment. The General Court rejected all five pleas and dismissed the action.
On 21 April 2015, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice (“Grand Chamber”), in the case of Issam Anbouba v Council (C-605/13P and C-630/13P), rejected Issam Anbouba’s appeal of the judgment of the General Court in Anbouba v Council (T-563/11). In both cases, Anbouba was seeking the annulment of restrictive measures concerning Syria insofar as they imposed restrictive measures against him. Anbouba was initially added to the Syrian sanctions list for providing economic support to the Syrian regime as president of the company Issam Anbouba Est.
Anbouba’s appeal was based on arguments against the General Court’s approval of presumptions applied by the EU Council. The Grand Chamber rejected the grounds and dismissed the appeal. Anbouba therefore remains sanctioned pursuant to Council Decision 2011/782/CFSP and Council Regulation (EU) No 36/2012.