High Court Rules That UK Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Are Lawful
On 10 July 2017, the High Court ruled that the export of UK arms and weapons to Saudi Arabia is lawful. The claimant, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), had challenged the government’s continued granting of licences for UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia, claiming that the UK was in breach of international humanitarian law. The court held that the closed material, which has not been made public for national security reasons, “provides valuable additional support for the conclusion that the decisions made by the Secretary of State not to suspend or cancel arms sales to Saudi Arabia were rational”.
Whilst the UK government has stated that defence exports would continue to be reviewed, the CAAT has already expressed that an appeal against the High Court’s ruling was planned. The High Court’s judgment is available here, and the Court press summary is available here.