Lesson Plan: The Magnitsky Act

The Magnitsky Act

William Browder, CEO of London-based Hermitage Capital Management, explains the meaning behind Congress passing the Magnitsky Act.

Description

In 2009, Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died while imprisoned after uncovering and exposing a corruption scheme in Russia. Upon learning of his death, Magnitsky's employer, William Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, made a commitment to seek justice for those who were responsible for his death. Browder worked with Senators to establish the Magnitsky Act which blocked Russian government officials and businessmen associated with the death of Sergei Magnitsky from entering the U.S., froze assets in U.S. banks, and banned the use of American banking systems.

Procedures

  • Step 1:

    As a class, view the video below to provide background information on the subject and use the accompanying questions to guide class discussion.

    Students may use the following handout to take notes as they view the video clips in this lesson and participate in class discussion.

    Handout: The Magnitsky Act (Google Doc)

  • Video Clip 1: The Magnitsky Act (3:04)

    William Browder, CEO of London-based Hermitage Capital Management, explains the meaning behind Congress passing the Magnitsky Act.

    1. Explain the reason behind Congress establishing the Magnitsky Act.

    2. What does the Magnitsky Act do?

    3. Explain Vladimir Putin's response to the passing of this act.
  • Step 2:

    As students view the following video, have them note the key points from the remarks of Senators Ben Cardin, John McCain and Roger Wicker on the passing of this legislation.

    Discuss the comments of the senators as a class as well as the possible implications this legislation could have on future relations with Russia.

  • Video Clip 2: The Magnitsky Act and Human Rights in Russia (6:50)

    A bipartisan group of senators briefed the media on the Magnitsky Act, which targets Russian officials deemed by the U.S. to have violated human rights.

  • Step 3:

    As students view the following video, have them note the effectiveness of sanctions on Russian oligarchs and how other countries have replicated these sanctions.

  • Video Clip 3: The Effectiveness of Russian Oligarch Sanctions (3:15)

    William Browder discusses the effectiveness of sanctions on Russian oligarchs. He also explains how other countries have replicated these sanctions.

  • Extension Activity

    Students may research the present effects of this act.

    They can search C-SPAN's Video Library to learn more about its current impact.

    If they were president, what actions would they take regarding this legislation and our current relationship with Russia?

Additional Resources

  • Lesson Plan: Tools of Foreign Policy

    This lesson gives an overview of some of these tools of foreign policy and provides students the opportunity to review present and historical examples of foreign policy.

  • Sidebar Podcast with Bill Browder

    Bill Browder was kicked out of Russia and labeled a national security threat by President Vladimir Putin. Mr Browder discussed Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the Magnitsky Act, which was named for his late lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who was imprisoned for 11 months before dying in prison.

Vocabulary

  • Admonition
  • Bilateral
  • Catalyst
  • Corruption
  • Human Rights Violations
  • Multilateral
  • Repeal
  • Transparency

Topics

Comparative GovernmentForeign Policy

Grades

High SchoolUniversity