The European Union General Court (EUGC) today said its ruling to lift sanctions on the LTTE was a legal ruling and not a political decision.
“This is a legal ruling of a court and it is not a political decision taken by the EU governments. The separation of the judicial system from the legislature is a key distinction in a healthy democracy,” it said in a statement.
The Full Statement
General Court of the EU Ruling on EU measures against the LTTE
The General Court of the European Union annulled measures taken by the Council of the European Union against the LTTE, namely the designation of the LTTE as a terrorist organisation and the freezing of LTTE funds. Nonetheless the Court allows the annulled decision on the freezing of LTTE funds to be maintained for another three months.
In understanding the implications of this Ruling it is important to remember that it is a legal ruling of a court; it is not a political decision taken by the EU governments. The separation of the judicial system from the legislature is a key distinction in a healthy democracy.
Furthermore, this legal ruling is clearly based on procedural grounds and it does not imply any assessment by the Court of the substantive issues of designating the LTTE or of freezing LTTE funds.
The Court also ruled that the EU law on the prevention of terrorism can apply in situations of armed conflict under international humanitarian law - thereby rejecting a claim made by the LTTE.
The EU institutions are studying carefully the Ruling in detail; they will reflect on the options open to them and will, in due course, decide on appropriate remedial action to take.