"Magnitsky-style sanctions" (named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison after alleging fraud against local officials) permit the imposition of sanctions against persons for involvement in human rights abuses and/or corruption, outside of country-specific sanctions programmes. The US introduced a Global Magnitsky sanctions programme in 2016, and other countries have followed suit including Canada and most recently the UK and EU (although the EU's sanctions programme applies only to human rights violations, not corruption).

Now Australia's foreign affairs minister has announced that it will introduce a similar law to impose sanctions and travel bans against individuals and entities determined to be involved in such conduct. The scope of the programme is still being decided, and is expected to be introduced by the end of the year. An Australian parliament report from late 2020 noted that, while the Australian autonomous sanctions regime already gave the ability to sanction individuals on the basis of human rights abuses, it lacked specific criteria and was rarely used. 

According to the announcement accompanying last year's report, the new legislation is hoped to "close the gap of opportunity for perpetrators and stop Australia becoming a safe haven for these people."