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Appeal to be heard in the case of UK arms-related licenses agreements to Israel
REF: 30.2008E
16، Oct 2008

Al-Haq is pleased to inform you that the appeal in the case of Saleh Hasan v Secretary of State and Industry will be heard on 21-22 October 2008.

On 19 November 2007, the UK High Court of Justice denied the claim of Saleh Hasan, filed by UK Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) in cooperation with Al-Haq, requesting the UK government to clarify its position on its arms-related licensing agreements with Israel. In particular the claim sought to require the UK government to reveal how it satisfies its own criteria that material sold under these agreements is not used in the commission of human rights abuses.

PIL sought a declaration from the High Court that in future dealings with Israel, the UK Government must be transparent about their compliance with the UK Export Control Act of 2002, which incorporates the EU “consolidated criteria” governing the export of military equipment. This Act prohibits the UK government from selling arms related products where there is a risk that they will be used for repressive purposes.

Mr. Justice Collins found that while the UK government could provide the information requested, it would involve a “considerable amount of work” and that the UK Parliament, through the Quadripartite Committee already exercised a sufficient level of oversight over arms-export licensing, making the claim unnecessary. The Court therefore dismissed the claim.

The Court of Appeal found there to be strategic questions with regard to High Court’s dismissal of the claim and granted the appeal on 11 Feb 2008.

PIL will argue in the appeal that the state is under a public law obligation to provide – in the public interest – reasons demonstrating how license applications were assessed as complying with relevant human rights criteria in statutory guidance.

Al-Haq and PIL are looking forward to the opportunity of a thorough analysis of Mr. Saleh Hasan’s case.

This hearing is of great significance, and any support you can offer is most welcome. Aside from actually attending the hearing, it would be greatly appreciated if you could forward this letter to any other parties you think may be interested. Al-Haq is in the process of organizing various public meetings prior to the hearing. Please do not hesitate to contact us at haq(a) if you have any questions, comments or require further information pertaining to the case.