Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How Monash University treats students from "sanctioned" countries

Monash University has a sanction compliance policy when it comes to admission and enrollment of students and provision of education and research training procedures. I believe this is somewhat against the academic/science freedom, preventing any human being to pursue education and research simply based on where they come from. Academic and science freedom works outside economically- and politically-oriented sanctions laws, for the benefit of the society and science.

Sanctioned countries recognized by Monash include:
  1. Central African Republic
  2. Côte d'Ivoire
  3. Crimea and Sevastopol*
  4. Democratic Republic of 
  5. Congo
  6. DPRK (North Korea)*
  7. Eritrea 
  8. Former Federal Republic of 
  9. Yugoslavia
  10. Guinea – Bissan
  11. Iran*
  12. Iraq
  13. Lebanon
  14. Liberia
  15. Libya
  16. Myanmar
  17. Russia*
  18. Somalia
  19. Sudan
  20. Syria*
  21. Ukraine
  22. Yemen
  23. Zimbabwe
* represents "harsher sanction law countries"!! Whatever it means.
Note: There are currently 196 countries in the world.
"Under the Sanctions Laws, the University is prohibited from dealing with specific individuals and entities, or providing those individuals, entities and specified countries with access to specific types of training, services and resources. The training, services or resources targeted by the sanctions are those relevant to military purposes or the development of weapons of mass destruction, and for a small number of sanctioned countries also specified dual use goods (being resources that have a military purpose and also have a legitimate civilian purpose). The Sanctions Laws aim to ensure the University does not equip targeted individuals, entities or nations with these resources or the skills to utilise these resources." Source: Monash sanctions compliance policy
When a student from any of the sanctioned countries apply to study at Monash, either being undergraduate or postgraduate, his application will go through a sanction compliance process. The applicant's supervisor  has to fill different forms and do an assessment whether the research or education could involve sanctioned activities.

There is also a "Sanctioned Good Risk Management Plan" which specifically deals with sanctioned materials. Following is a ridiculous part of the management plan:
"Monash University will permit the researcher to continue to undertake the research activity if the following conditions are strictly adhered to:
  1. The researcher must not enter into the laboratory where the sanctioned good is located, except under supervision.
  2. The researcher will not personally conduct any research using the sanctioned good.
  3. The researcher will issue instructions to the research assistant for all activity involving the sanctioned good.
  4. The research assistant will conduct all activity pursuant to those instructions without further reference to the researcher.  Requests for advice and assistance relating to use of the sanctioned good will be directed to some other person, and not the researcher.
  5. The researcher will not be present when the research assistant uses the sanctioned good.  
  6. The researcher will not observe, supervise, monitor or direct the use of the sanctioned good.
  7. When the research assistant has completed the activity using the sanctioned good, the research assistant will provide the outputs to the researcher.  The research assistant will not discuss the process or activity of the use of the sanctioned good with the researcher.
  8. The role of the researcher will be limited to issuing the initial instructions to the research assistant, and receiving the outputs from the use of the sanctioned good by the research assistant.
  9. No Monash University staff member or student will provide the researcher with access to, instruction about, assistance with, or training in the use of the sanctioned good."

Following is a specific assessment currently (as of today) being done for students from Iran.

Australia Group Common Controls List at http://www.australiagroup.net/en/controllists.html which deals with:
- Chemical Weapons Precursors
- Dual-use chemical manufacturing facilities and equipment and related technology and software
- Dual-use biological equipment and related technology and software
- Biological agents
- Plant pathogens
- Animal pathogens.

INFCIRC/254/Rev.9/Part 1 at http://www.un.org/ar/sc/committees/1737/pdf/INFCIRC1.pdf which deals with export of nuclear materials, equipment and technology.

 INFCIRC/254/Rev.7/Part 2 at http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1737/pdf/INFCIRC_254_Rev.7_Part2.pdf which deals with transfer of nuclear-related dual-use equipment, materials, software and related technology.

S/2010/263 at http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2010/263 which deals with items, materials, equipment, goods and technology related to ballistic missile-related programmes.

 The annex to A/RES/46/36 L dated 6 December 1991 at http://www.un.org/Depts/ddar/Register/4636.html which deals with arms and related materiel.

 S/RES/1737 at paragraph 3(d) at http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/Iran%20SRES%201737.pdf which deals with materials, equipment, goods and technology that could contribute to enrichment-related, or reprocessing, or heavy water-related activities or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.

 S/RES/1929 at paragraph 8 http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/unsc_res1929-2010.pdf which deals with arms and related materiel.

Charter of United Nations (Sanctions – Iran)(Export Sanctioned Goods) List Determination 2008 at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/details/f2011c00901/download open PDF and see schedule 1, which deals with:
- nuclear materials, facilities and equipment
- nuclear materials, chemicals, microorganisms and toxins
- material processing
- electronics, sensors and lasers
- navigation and avionics
- technology
- dual use goods of utility in a nuclear program.
Autonomous Sanctions (Export Sanctioned Goods – Iran) Specification 2012 at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014G00117 which deals with:
- exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas
- refining crude oil and liquefaction of natural gas
- petrochemical industry.
Autonomous Sanctions (Export Sanctioned Goods – Iran) Amendment Specification 2013 at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014G00121 which deals with:
- graphite, iron and steel, copper and articles thereof, nickel and articles thereof, aluminium, lead, zinc, tin and other base metals, cermets and articles thereof
- key naval equipment and technology
- software for integrating industrial processes

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