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Sanctions are measures not involving the use of armed force that are imposed in situations of international concern, including the grave repression of human rights, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery, or armed conflict. They impose restrictions on activities that relate to particular countries, goods and services, or persons and entities. Australian sanction laws implement United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions regimes and the Australian autonomous sanctions regime.

Australia is obliged to implement UNSC sanctions regimes as a matter of international law.

In addition, the Australian Government has decided to implement Australian autonomous sanctions regimes as a matter of Australian foreign policy. Australian autonomous sanctions regimes may supplement UNSC sanctions regimes, or be separate from them.

Sanctions aim to limit the adverse consequences of a situation of international concern and seek to use penalties and influence of those responsible for giving rise to the situation of international concern in order to modify their behaviour so as to remove the concern.

Importance of compliance

Compliance with Australian sanction laws is very important as the legislation establishes serious criminal offences for contravening sanctions measures. These offences are punishable for individuals by up to 10 years in prison, and/or a fine the greater of $425,000 or three times the value of the transaction. They are punishable for bodies corporate by a fine the greater of $1.7 million or three times the value of the transaction.

These offences are strict liability offences for bodies corporate, meaning that it is not necessary to prove any fault element (intent, knowledge, recklessness or negligence) for a body corporate to be found guilty.

University Compliance

University staff members engaging in activities with an individual or entity from a sanctioned country are required to complete the relevant International Compliance Review form. The activities and relevant forms are:

  1. Engaging Higher Degree by Research Students - International Compliance Review - Higher Degree by Research form
  2. Employing Staff whom are citizens of a sanctioned country - International Compliance Review – Staff Employments form
  3. Research collaborations and all other agreements or arrangements with foreign individuals or entities - International Compliance Review - Foreign Engagements form

Completed forms are to be sent to Legal and Integrity at for advice on any further steps that may be required.

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