On July 3, 2019, the Globe & Mail reported in an article entitled “Ottawa recommends RCMP investigate Canadian lobby firm representing Sudanese military” that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”) has opened an investigation into whether Dickens & Madson (Canada) Inc. had violated Canada’s economic sanctions against Sudan.  Globe & Mail reporting and an Amnesty International letter prompted the investigation. Canada does not normally publicly announce criminal investigations.  Usually, no information is released until the RCMP charges a company or the company publicly posts information about the investigation.  The announcement was prompted due to the media attention on Dickens & Madson.

On June 28, 2019, Steven Chase and Geoffrey York published an article entitled “Quebec lobbying firm may have broken Sudan sanctions with deal ‘striving’ to supply military equipment for military”.  I am mentioned in that article having said:

“Toronto trade lawyer Cyndee Todgham Cherniak said that depending on what exactly is being sold to persons in Sudan, Dickens & Madson could be acting contrary to prohibitions in the UN sanctions if they supply arms or technical assistance. There are exceptions though for non-lethal military gear intended for protective use, such as bulletproof vests.”

On July 1, 2019, The Globe & Mail reported that “Amnesty International calls  for probe of  Canadian lobbyists firm’s contract with Sudan military regime“.  Here is a copy of Amnesty International’s June 30, 2019 letter to the Government of Canada.

The issue to be investigated is whether Dickens & Madson breached Canada’s multilateral economic sanctions against Sudan.  The United Nations Security Council has passed sanctions (and arm’s embargo) against Sudan (United Nations Security Council Resolution 1556 and 1591).  Canada implemented those economic sanctions and trade restrictions in Canadian law under the United Nations Act.  In 2004, Canada’s Governor in Council promulgated the United Nations (Sudan) Regulations (which have subsequently been amended), which were published in the Canada Gazette.

Canada has not imposed additional economic sanctions against Sudan under the Special Economic Measures Act.

Whether the facts support charges under the United Nations Act are not yet determined and Dickens & Madson are presumed innocent.  The written contract between Dickens & Madson and the Sudanese military will be important as will be correspondence about that agreement.

For more information about Canada’s economic sanctions, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or at cyndee@lexsage.com.