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Eloise Somera

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Eloise Somera is an Articling Student from Baker McKenzie, Toronto office.

Throughout 2022, there were substantial legislative developments under Canada’s unilateral sanctions regime. New sanctions regulations were implemented or amended in response to the war in Ukraine and in response to conflicts in Haiti, Iran and Myanmar. The framework and application of Canadian sanctions law also underwent changes, including the introduction of a new asset forfeiture regime. Additionally, for the first time, a Canadian court opined on the issue of “control” under the Special Economic Measures Act.

On 9 January 2023, Canada announced further amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations in response to those who “systematically violate human rights and spread the Iranian regime’s propaganda and misinformation.” These amendments list an additional two individuals and three entities under Schedule 1 of the Regulations and entered into force on 6 January 2023. Unlike past announcements, the government’s News Release provides particulars describing each newly designated individual and entity.

On 10 January 2023, Canada enacted the Special Economic Measures (Sri Lanka) Regulations in response to former state officials responsible for committing “gross and systemic violations of human rights.” The Regulations entered into force on 6 January 2023 and list four individuals on Schedule 1, including former Presidents Gotabaya Pajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa.

On 2 December 2022, Canada announced further amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations in response to the Iranian regime’s “gross and systematic human rights violations and actions that continue to threaten international peace and security”. These amendments list an additional four individuals and five entities under Schedule 1 of the Regulations and took effect on 29 November 2022.

On 19 November 2022, Canada announced amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations in response to the “egregious conduct of Haitian political elites who provide illicit financial and operational support to armed gangs”. These amendments list an additional three individuals under the Schedule of the Regulations and took effect on 17 November 2022.