On 20 June the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment of Campaign Against Arms Trade’s appeal against the dismissal by the Divisional Court, in July 2017, of its claim for judicial review of licensing decisions about military exports to Saudi Arabia which might be used in the conflict in Yemen.
The judgment is not about whether the decisions themselves were right or wrong but whether the process used to reach these decisions was correct. The government disagrees with part of the judgment and is seeking permission to appeal. The Secretary of State for International Trade has made a statement to Parliament about this matter. The government is now carefully considering the implications of the judgment for decision-making.
Department of International Trade will no longer grant any new licences for exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners (UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt) which might be used in the conflict in Yemen.
Extant licences – those granted before this judgment – are not immediately affected by the Court Order. Exporters may continue to export under extant licences. But DIT are required by the Court to reconsider the decisions DIT has made about those licences.
DIT have also stopped new registrations for 6 open general export licences (OGELs):
Exporters who have already registered for these OGELs may continue to use them to export to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners, subject to the terms and conditions of the licences. Arrangements will be put in place for future registrations for other destinations permitted by these OGELs.
Hammad Baig can assist with license applications, sanctions and international embargoes. Should you wish to instruct Hammad Baig please do not hesitate to contact his clerks.