In today’s judgement the General Court of the European Union annulled the decisions of the Council EU which maintained the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on the EU Terrorism List.
The General Court determined that the Council has not sufficiently substantiated its decision to maintain the LTTE on the terrorism list. The Council relied on a decision of third country India without verifying whether the basic and general principles of protection of the rights of defence and of the right to effective judicial protection were taken into account, equivalent to that guaranteed at EU level.
Moreover, the EU Court faulted the Council for its use of ‘facts’ in its Statement of Reasons. The EU listing system is a two-tiered system in which the Council must base its decision on national decisions that in turn have a reliable factual basis. In this case, however, the Council inverted this system by trying to provide its own factual basis, derived from the press and internet. However, the Council should have based itself on facts that had been carefully considered by national EU authorities.
At present, it is unknown whether the EU Council will appeal the decision before the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The judgment is available online (here).