Canada was the first Western country to legislate the possibility of seizing sanctioned Russian assets for Ukraine's reconstruction.

This is the first practical step toward seizing Russian assets abroad and using them to rebuild Ukraine. Candidate of legal sciences, director of Dnistrianskyi Center, Ivan Horodyskyi, and Vice-Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Dmytro Sherenhovskyi, write in their article Canadian Precedent: How Seized Russian Assets to Help Ukraine.

Now, this doesn't say if it would consider assets owned by oligarch Russian assets, but considering other countries have been seizing assets owned by oligarchs I would think so.


A multinational task force designed to seize Russian oligarchs’ wealth has blocked and frozen $30 billion in sanctioned individuals’ property and funds in its first 100 days in operation, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday.

Since most Chinese CEOs and investors aren't part of the Chinese governments, would this precedent still imply the same treatment against them in the event of a war, and what are the legal implications of such a move is only limited to Russians even if China were to attack Taiwan.

  • We need to read the original source of the bill to determine the scope of its power. The article is not very clear on the details. Jul 5 at 4:57

2 Answers 2


The text of the C-19 bill is here; the relevant part is Division 31. In brief, the bill is not specific to Russia or Ukraine. It amends the Special Economic Measures Act of 1992. Anyone sanctioned by Canada could potentially be affected by forfeitures, but it's not an automatic process, even for those sanctioned. The forfeiture (section 5.4) needs to be initiated by a Minister and reviewed by a judge and thus seems to be separate from seizure--which I presume is specified in the unamended law. Furthermore the proceeds can be spent by the Canadian government (section 5.6) on rectifying breaches of human rights (in addition to reconstruction of countries affected by war), so it could be used even e.g. on the situation in Xinjiang, assuming Canada has sanctioned Chinese officials related to that (like the US has done).

It remains to be seen whether the C-19 bill will survive intact given its rather novel nature and thus anticipated constitutionality challenges in Canadian courts. The US has been more cautious in passing such a bill, only designating a study group on the feasibility/constitutionality thereof, from the news I've seen.

Wording quibble: "legal precedent" means at least one case successfully prosecuted, not merely the passage of a law.


I would argue that, ironically enough, legality of actions on international level is not in fact determined on a set structure of rules. They are claimed to be based on binding treaties and such, but there are countless examples of discrepancies and uneven application, even outright blatant violations that are not officially challenged.

In this specific case, the willingness to take such actions is the important indicator. I imagine they will be concerned, based on the popularity of Canada for Chinese immigrants. Example: https://www.cbc.ca/news/meng-wanzhou-huawei-kovrig-spavor-1.6188472

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