Court of Appeal Judgement - Military Exports to Saudi Arabia

Posted on: 25/06/2019

The government issued the following notice today, 25th June, following the Court of Appeal judgements on military exports to Iraq:


On 20 June the Court of Appeal handed down its judgement 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 judgement 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 judgement 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 judgement for decision-making.

While we do this, we will not 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 judgement – are not immediately affected by the Court Order. Exporters may continue to export under extant licences. But we are required by the Court to reconsider the decisions we made about those licences.

We have also stopped new registrations for 6 open general export licences (OGELs):

  • PCBs and components for military goods
  • Export after repair/replacement under warranty (military goods)
  • Exports for transfers in support of UK Government defence contracts
  • Software and source code for military goods
  • Technology for military goods
  • Military goods: collaborative Project Typhoon

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.

We will provide further information for exporters as soon as we are able to do so.

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