On 17 December 2014, the General Court of the EU published its judgment in Hamas v Council of the European Union (Case T-400/10) in which it annulled the designation of the Hamas (including its military wing, Hamas-Izz al-Din al-Qassem) as a terrorist organisation for the purposes of Council Common Position 2001/931/CFSP (the “Common Position”), as amended by Council Decision 2010/386/CFSP, and Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 as implemented by Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 610/2010.
The General Court annulled the designation because the Council failed to make its decision to freeze Hamas’s funds on evidence that had been concretely examined and confirmed in decisions of national competent authorities, as is required by EU law. Instead, the General Court found that the Council relied on factual implications derived from the press and the internet. In its judgment, the Court “stresse[d] that [the] annulments… do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group”.
The effect of the annulment has been stayed for 3 months or for the duration of any appeal that may be brought. This period allows the Council (should it so decide) to re-designate Hamas in a manner compliant with the requirements of the Common Position and EU case law.