On June 20, 2019, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment allowing Campaign Against Arms Trade’s (CAAT) appeal of the High Court’s decision. The claim brought by CAAT was for a judicial review of export licensing decisions made by the Secretary of State for International Trade in relation to military exports to Saudi Arabia, which could potentially be used in the conflict in Yemen.
The Court of Appeal found that the government acted unlawfully when assessing the relevant criterion of a clear risk that the material might be used in serious violations of international humanitarian law.
The government has stated that it disagrees with part of the judgment and intends to appeal. The government has also stated that it will not grant any new licenses for export to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners (being the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt) that might be used in the conflict in Yemen, while it assesses the implications of the Court of Appeal decision. Licenses granted before the judgment are not immediately affected, but the government is to reconsider the decisions it made about such licenses.
Please contact us at InternationalTradeCompliance@squirepb.com with any questions.