CAAT strongly welcomed the judgment by the Court of Appeal on 20 July 2019, which found that the Government’s decision process for granting export licences for arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen was “irrational and therefore unlawful”. This overturned the previous judgment, made by the High Court on 10 July 2017, turning down CAAT’s claim.
As a result of CAAT’s successful appeal, the Government was told to retake on a lawful basis its export licensing decisions on extant licences, and not to issue any new ones, where the equipment might be used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
On 27 June 2019 the Government asked the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court and for a stay. On 9 July 2019 the Government was granted permission to appeal, but refused a stay. CAAT was granted permission to appeal on the two grounds on which it had lost.
The Secretary of State for International Trade announced on 7 July 2020 that the review was complete and that exports would resume. CAAT condemned this decision, and on 27 October launched a new claim for judicial review of this latest decision.
Documents prior to the Supreme Court hearing
- 9 September 2019 – letter from CAAT’s lawyers to the Government about the situation in Yemen since the High Court hearing in February 2017.
- 9 September 2019 – annex to above letter giving a chronology of incidents in Yemen.
- 28 October 2019 – letter from CAAT’s lawyers to the Government chasing a response to the 1 August letter.
- 19 June 2020 – letter from CAAT’s lawyers to the Government’s lawyers asking why the retaking of the decisions on extant licences had not been completed after a year.