Campaigners have won a. The illicit challenge over the UK government decision for allowing arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which seized in the war in Yemen. Campaign Against Arms Trade contended the decision for continuing to certify military equipment for export to the Gulf state was illicit. It said there was an explicit risk the arms might be used in a serious violation of international humanitarian law.
According to judges licenses should be checked but would not be urgently hanged. International Trade Secretary told the government would not approve any new certificates for export to Saudi Arabia and its alliances while it ponders the synthesis of the judgment.
Under UK export policy, licenses of military equipment should not be approved if there is a “clear risk” which weapon might be used in a “serious violations of international humanitarian law”.
Providing discrimination at the Court of Appeal in London, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherson told 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 ”.
He said the government “must reconsider the matter” and estimate any future risks. He also added, “ today’s judgment is not about whether the government has made the right or wrong decisions about granting export licenses, but concerns the rationality of the process used to reach decisions”. The UK has licensed more than £4.7bn of arms exports to the Saudis since the bombing of Yemen started in March 2015.