Starving terrorists of their financial oxygen – at all costs?

Sidney Yankson (School of Law, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Publication date: 20 July 2010



The purpose of this paper is to argue that the leadin‘g international actor responsible for the maintenance of peace and security, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), must ensure that they strictly abide by accepted fundamental human rights norms when promulgating and enforcing resolutions for freezing assets of suspected terrorists.


The paper presents an overview of some fundamental human rights affected by the UN resolutions. It then compares leading case law from both the international (European Court of Justice) and domestic (the UK and the USA) perspectives. Finally, the paper discusses the leading academic critiques before exploring whether the UNSC is right to infringe or derogate from human rights norms in its counter‐terrorism policy. If so, in what circumstances and under what conditions may they be right to do so?


There are several fundamental human rights norms which are not respected by the UNSC in the area of terrorist financing.

Research limitations/implications

Research could be expanded to other courts. Further research should consider additional human rights that were outside the scope of this paper.

Practical implications

The UNSC should allow special advocates on all matters both before the ombudsman and themselves. This should provide greater transparency.

Social implications

The paper should draw attention to the seemingly incongruous position of the UNSC, tasked with protecting us and our human rights, when in fact they themselves may be breaching them.


The paper will be valuable to governments and regulators that seek to regulate the financial markets. It will also be useful to human rights activists.



Yankson, S. (2010), "Starving terrorists of their financial oxygen – at all costs?", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 282-306.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.