The European Council announced, on 22 December 2009, that it has complied with judgments handed down by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in two symbolic cases for the defence of the rights of presumed terrorists in Europe.

The September 2008 rulings, Kadi (C-402/05 P) and Al Barakaat International Foundation (C-415/05 P), oblige member states to respect fundamental rights and, in particular, the right to a hearing, in their rules on placing presumed terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban on a black list updated every six months (Regulation 881/2002). The main sanction that results from such a listing is a freeze of the person's assets in Europe, as recommended in the UN resolutions adopted in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 against the United States.

These judgments have since been referred to in similar recent cases, including cases C-399/06 P and C-403/06 P, in which the Luxembourg-based ECJ annulled a decision freezing the assets of a Libyan national...

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