June 20, 2019 / 9:31 AM / 4 months ago

Britain acted unlawfully on Saudi arms exports, court rules

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - A British court on Thursday ruled that the British government had acted unlawfully in allowing arms exports to Saudi Arabia that might have been used in the conflict in Yemen.

“The Court of Appeal has concluded that the process of decision-making by the government was wrong in law in one significant respect,” judge said as he handed down the ruling.

He added that the government made “no concluded assessments of whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of international humanitarian law in the past, during the Yemen conflict.”

“The decision of the court today does not mean that licenses to export arms to Saudi Arabia must immediately be suspended,” he said.

“It does mean that the UK government must reconsider the matter, must make the necessary assessments about past episodes of concern, allowing for the fact that, in some cases, it will not be possible to reach a conclusion.”

The case was brought by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade against the British government. (Reporting by Paul Sandle and Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Alistair Smout)

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