UK High Court Refuses to Block Saudi Arms Sales

Judge: Government Knows Better

The British High Court today handed down a pair of judgement on the lawsuit by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which was seeking to stop continued British arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The open judgement was that the sales can continue without restrictions.

The lawsuit was based on UK and EU law both forbidding arms exports when there is a “clear risk” the arms would be used to break international humanitarian law, and the widespread war crimes the Saudis are committing in the course of the Yemen War.

The judge in the ruling claimed the UK government necessarily has better information on the Saudi war crimes than CAAT would, though specifics are only in a secret “closed judgement” offered for “national security reasons.”

The ruling is being criticized by a number of groups, noting that the exports clearly flout the export law’s humanitarian rules. Saudi Arabia is Britain’s largest customer for arms, and has been picking up their orders from US and British suppliers throughout the Yemen War, mostly seeking more bombs to drop on the Shi’ite-run north of the country.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of