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Arms Trade: Saudi Arabia

Question for Department for International Trade

UIN 272914, tabled on 3 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to paragraph 141 of the Court of Appeal judgment in R (on the application of Campaign Against Arms Trade) v The Secretary of State for International Trade, for what reason his Department's policy was not to assess past violations of international humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Answered on

8 July 2019

The central issue in relation to military exports to the Saudi-led coalition in the context of the conflict in Yemen is Criterion 2c of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the Government will not grant an export licence if there is a clear risk that the item might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL).

Criterion 2c is a prospective and predictive exercise as to whether there is a clear risk in the future. Although the Government has always considered the historic record in respect of IHL, past instances are only a part of the picture in relation to Criterion 2c.

The Court of Appeal judgment concerns reaching findings on IHL in specific incidents in the past. The Government’s approach has recognised the inherent difficulty of doing so where we do not have access to complete information. We are now considering the implications of the judgment for decision-making.

Answered by

Department for International Trade
Named day
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