Despite court rulings in favour of the claimants (albeit to varying extents) in some jurisdictions, this has not led to meaningful or comprehensive remedy for those affected by the arms transfers under scrutiny as exports have continued despite court rulings that such exports are illegal.
In both the UK and Belgium, exports to Saudi Arabia have continued despite the court’s ruling that these exports are unlawful.
UK: The court allowed extant licences to remain operative; meaning that the government could continue to export to Saudi Arabia in spite of a ruling declaring such a practice as unlawful. Furthermore, despite the ruling in the claimant’s favour from the first administrative proceedings in the UK, which lasted several years (during which most exports continued), the remedy sought was for the government to be required to review its decision. The impact of these proceedings were, however, short-lived as only a year later, following a review of its licensing process and position on Saudi Arabia’s targeting practices, the government resumed granting new licences to Saudi Arabia. This is presently being challenged in a fresh judicial review claim.
Belgium: Following a positive order for annulment or suspension of contested licences, the government merely replaces the annulled licences with new licences to the same destination.