Seizing Russian Assets: Canada has the Spirit of International Law on its Side

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date



Economic Sanctions, Seizing of Assets, United Nations Security Council, Law of State Responsibility, Magnitsky Act, Russia, Ukraine, Canada


As has been widely reported, the House of Commons recently passed Bill C-19, a budget implementation act that also contains measures empowering the Canadian government to create special economic sanctions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This mechanism originated in work done by the World Refugee & Migration Council (WRMC), which underpinned a bill of more general application that was put forward by Senator Ratna Omidvar several months ago. However, the government’s specific goal with this newer version is to seize assets belonging to the Russian government, citizens or residents, liquidate them, and use the proceeds to aid Ukraine.