A case has been brought by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) in the High Court, challenging the Government’s licensing of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Exports should not go ahead if there is a “clear risk” the equipment might be used in a serious violation of international humanitarian law. In R (Campaign Against Arms Trade) v Secretary of State for International Trade Martin Chamberlain QC is acting for the claimant, James Eadie QC is instructed by the Government and Angus McCullough QC is appearing as special advocate.

It is reported that Saudi Arabia is the UK’s biggest weapons client, and the government has granted licences for 」3.3 billion of munitions, aircraft and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition stands accused of causing significant civilian casualties and destruction in one of the region’s poorest countries.

Half of the three day hearing was held in secret so the government could produce sensitive evidence. The hearing finished on 10 February 2017 and judgment is awaited.

Angus McCullough QC is instructed by the Special Advocates’ Support Office.

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