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‘Irrational & unlawful’: UK govt dealt landmark defeat over arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Published: June 19, 2019
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Source: RT

In a legal challenge brought by anti-arms trade campaigners, three of the UK’s top judges concluded that it was “irrational and unlawful” of the government to allow arms sales to Saudi Arabia without making proper checks.

The UK Court of Appeal has ruled that the British government has “made no attempt” to assess whether Riyadh had breached international humanitarian law in the Yemen war.

… the process of decision-making by the Government was wrong in law in one significant respect.

However, the judges said that their ruling does not mean that UK arms export licences to Saudi Arabia have to be suspended immediately.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade, which brought the challenge, welcomed the verdict, but insisted it shouldn’t have taken a court case to force the UK government to “follow its own rules.”

No matter what atrocities it has inflicted, the Saudi regime has been able to count on the uncritical political and military support of the UK.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox was due to give a statement to parliament on Thursday afternoon on how the government planned to respond to the judgement.

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