Baroness Helena Kennedy QC Introduces Magnitsky Visa Ban Legislation to the UK House of Lords

July 4, 2017

Press Release

For Immediate Distribution


Baroness Helena Kennedy QC Introduces Magnitsky Visa Ban Legislation to the UK House of Lords


4 July 2017 – Last week Baroness Helena Kennedy QC introduced the Magnitsky visa ban legislation at the House of Lords of the British parliament.
The new legislation will give the British government the power to deny entry into the UK to individuals who have been involved in gross human rights abuses as defined in section 241 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”).


The new legislation is entitled “Cancellation of UK Visas for Gross Human Rights Abuses Bill 2017.”


The bill complements the previous Magnitsky legislation passed earlier this year by the British Parliament which gives the British government new powers to freeze the UK assets of foreigners involved in gross human rights abuses and corruption.


On introducing the bill, Baroness Kennedy said:


“My Lords, I beg to introduce a Bill to enable the Secretary of State or an immigration officer to refuse entry or to vary or curtail leave to enter or remain already granted to a person who is non-UK or non- EEA national who is known to be or to have been involved in gross human rights abuses.”

“This Bill was inspired by Bill Browder’s campaigning for human rights and his efforts to secure justice for his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, whose life was cruelly ended in a Russian jail. This country has been too lax in its willingness to allow entry to rich human rights abusers from around the world. It has to stop. These torturers and violators of rights have to be denied impunity,”
 said Baroness Kennedy QC.


The legislation follows in the footsteps of the US Magnitsky Act which was adopted by the US Congress in December 2012. The Magnitsky Act adopted into law in the United States comprises two components – visa bans and asset freezes – and applies them to those involved in the Magnitsky case, including the criminal conspiracy he had uncovered, as well as in other gross human rights violations and acts against human rights defenders.


Baroness Kennedy QC is a member of the House of Lords, Head of Mansfield College, University of Oxford, and a leading human rights barrister.


For more information, please contact:


Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777





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