Following a successful sanctions panel at the ECBA Autumn 2023 Conference in Sofia, the ECBA set up Sanctions Working Group, chaired by Rebecca Niblock, starting a series of monthly webinars in March 2024. The monthly webinars are scheduled to take place every third Friday of the month.

Since 2022, and the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the use of sanctions has grown exponentially, both quantitatively, with thousands new individual listings every year at the European but also US, UK and other national levels, as well as qualitatively, with general or individual measures decided against new sectors of the economy, or categories of natural and legal persons.

Although the focus has been on restrictive measures against Russia, other sanctions regimes have continued to develop as well, such as the European sanctions regimes against violations of human rights, or against other countries including Belarus or Iran.

These novelties inevitably bear new challenges, for all the actors in the field of sanctions, that have to face an ever changing legislative framework with (sometimes contradictory) interpretations from courts in multiple jurisdictions.

We hope to be able to create a forum for all ECBA members active in the sanctions field to share their practical experiences, and discuss questions of professional liability, representation of designated persons and cross-border cooperation. One of the aims of the working group would be to also provide a basis for contributions at policy level from the perspective of defence lawyers.