On 2 June 2016, the General Court of the European Union handed down judgements in casesT-160/13 Bank Mellat v Council (click here for judgement)  and T-723/14 HX v Council (click here for judgement, which is only available in French).

  • Bank Mellat v Council: Bank Mellat has questioned the validity of restrictions imposed on Iranian banks by EU sanctions (it did not, in this case, challenge it’s own listing under the sanctions). Bank Mellat sought the annulment of the funds transfer controls contained in Articles 30 to 30b of Regulation (EU) 267/2012, as amended by Article 1 of Regulation (EU) 1263/2012. The Court ruled that some parts of the claim were inadmissible since they did not directly effect the applicant. While it concluded that the applicant had an interest in bringing proceedings to seek annulment of Article 1(15) of Regulation 1263/2012, it ultimately disagreed with Bank Mellat, ruling that the restrictions were lawful and proportionate.
  • HX v Council – HX, a Syrian businessman granted anonymity by the Court, successfully challenged his listing. The Court found that the Council could not support the assumption that HX, as a prominent businessman in the oil & gas sector, supported and benefitted from the Syrian regime.