Case C-72/15, Rosneft – challenging the EU’s sectoral sanctions against Russia

Russian activities in Ukraine have prompted the EU to adopt a package of sanctions aimed at various Russians and Russian companies. These sanctions have been enshrined in various pieces of EU legislation and implemented by the EU Member States in their national laws. These sanctions are affecting an oil company which is part-owned by a British oil company ‘BP’, and part-owned by a Russian oil company that belongs to the State of Russia. To begin with, the company is challenging the legality of the UK’s implementing legislation. However, the validity of the EU’s legislation is also at stake. Does the CJEU have jurisdiction to rule on the validity of a Decision adopted pursuant to the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy? And if so, then does the drafting of the EU’s legislation satisfy the requirements of legal certainty and foreseeability in circumstances where that legislation forms the basis of criminal penalties?

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