Court victory for campaigners over UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Support us and go ad-free

Campaigners have won a landmark legal challenge against the Government over UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) argued that the decision to continue to license military equipment for export to the Gulf state, which is leading a coalition of forces in the Yemeni conflict, was unlawful.

The group said export licences should not have been granted as there was a clear risk that the arms might be used in a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

Protesters celebrate outside the court
Protesters celebrate outside the court (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Giving judgment in London on Thursday, the Court of Appeal ruled that “the process of decision-making by the Government was wrong in law in one significant respect”.

Announcing the court’s decision, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, sitting with Lord Justice Irwin and Lord Justice Singh, said the Government “made no concluded assessments of whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of international humanitarian law in the past, during the Yemen conflict, and made no attempt to do so”.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Sir Terence added: “The decision of the court today does not mean that licences to export arms to Saudi Arabia must immediately be suspended.”

He said the Government “must reconsider the matter” and estimate any future risks in light of their conclusions about the past.

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop

 

The Canary Fund us