Arms Sales on Trial.
In 2019 Campaign Against the Arms Trade won a legal action which forced the government to stop issuing export licences for weapons that could be used in the war in Yemen. This was on the basis of UK legislation that arms sales should not be allowed where there is a clear risk that a weapon might be used in serious violation of International Humanitarian Law.
Despite this in July 2020 the government resumed arms sales, claiming any violations of international humanitarian law were only ‘isolated incidents’. Since then it has licensed more than £2.2 billion additional weapons sales in support of the war. In total the UK has supplied arms worth over £23 billion to Saudi Arabia since the war in Yemen began.
CAAT applied for a Judicial Review into the legality of renewed government export licences for these sales. The High Court has heard this review - Jan 31st to Feb 2nd - and the decision is awaited.