Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Sue Eckert Presents Report on Targeted Sanctions and Individual Rights

December 11, 2012

Sue Eckert, senior fellow at the Watson Institute, presented a new update of the "Watson Report" at an event co-hosted by the German Ambassador to the United Nations and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The side event — "Targeted sanctions, human rights and due process - The future of the Ombudsperson's mandate under the 1267/1989 Al Qaeda sanctions regime" — took place on December 4th in New York.

Released this month, the report, Due Process and Targeted Sanctions: An Update of the 'Watson Report' builds on previous work by the Targeted Sanctions Project at the Watson Institute by Eckert and Thomas J. Biersteker, adjunct professor of International Studies at the Institute and director of the Programme for the Study of International Governance at The Graduate Institute in Geneva. The 2006 report, Strengthening Targeted Sanctions Through Fair and Clear Procedures, which subsequently became known as the "Watson Report" and the 2009 update, Addressing Challenges to Targeted Sanctions: An Update of the 'Watson Report', focused on the need for the Security Council to reform procedures to ensure that individuals' rights are protected when imposing targeted sanctions. Numerous legal challenges threatened to compromise the UN's ability to counter terrorism through sanctions designations. Principal recommendations of the Watson Reports were adopted by the Council through creation and strengthening of the Office of the Ombudsperson in UN Security Council Resolutions 1904 (2009) and 1989 (2011).

The new report concludes that substantial progress has been made in reforming the UN system to provide individuals with effective judicial protection but that "...continued reforms of the UN Ombudsperson mechanism to expand the mandate, make it more transparent, and extend it to other regimes, are important to the ultimate objective of strengthening the credibility of the Security Council and its instruments of targeted sanctions."