This site was set up to detail the judicial review of the decision to end the SFO investigation into BAE-Saudi arms deals.
Now the judicial review has finished, the site will be left online for the record. It is frozen as of February 2009.
High Court reopens BAE-Saudi corruption investigation
24 April 2008
Campaigners win landmark ruling on BAE-Saudi corruption case
9 November 2007
US probe into BAE welcomed by CAAT and Corner House
26 June 2007
CAAT and Corner House respond to BAE revelations
12 June 2007
Challenge to refusal to permit judicial review
7 June 2007
Full grounds for judicial review lodged
20 April 2007
BAE admits to paying agent to investigate campaigners
18 April 2007
BAE defeated in court by CAAT
26 February 2007
Update on proposed Judicial Review
25 January 2007
Government's defence of the SFO decision received
19 January 2007
Legal challenge to decision to drop BAE corruption inquiry
19 Decemeber 2006
7 June 2007
The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade are to challenge the refusal of a High Court judge to grant permission for a judicial review of the UK government’s controversial decision to abandon its investigation into alleged bribery by BAE in its dealing with Saudi Arabia.
The refusal was based on a review of the written arguments submitted to the court. The two campaign groups have now applied for a hearing at which they will be able to renew their application orally.
The UK’s decision to terminate the BAE corruption inquiry decision caused international furore when it was announced in December 2006. The Government argued that continuing the probe might lead to Saudi Arabia withdrawing diplomatic cooperation with the UK on security and intelligence.
In April 2007, The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) applied for a judicial review of the decision, arguing that it violated Britain’s international obligations under the OECD’s Anti-bribery Convention, to which the UK is a party. Article 5 of the Convention expressly forbids the termination of corruption investigations on grounds other than the merits of the case. There are no national security exemptions written into the Convention.
Despite acknowledging the “importance of the issues raised”, the Hon. Mr Justice Collins has rejected the application. “It is clear that national security must always prevail and no State could be expected to take action which jeopardises the security of the State or the lives of its citizens”, said the judge in a written statement. The full statement can be read as pdf .
Commenting on the decision, Nicholas Hildyard of The Corner House stated:
“We are disappointed that the court has rejected the application but confident that we will receive permission once the full arguments have been heard in an oral hearing. We do not accept that the national security concerns cited by the government trump the Convention – and have yet even to see evidence that such concerns are even warranted. If national security is allowed to prevail regardless, then the Convention is dead, since governments will always be able to avoid potentially embarrassing investigations.”
Symon Hill of CAAT stated:
"The new allegations of bribery make it even more essential that the SFO inquiry is reopened and light is shed on the payments to Saudi royals and officials by BAE Systems, whether these were made with or without the knowledge of the UK government."
The groups have now applied for an expedited oral hearing before the High Court.ENDS
1. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade. The Corner House is an environmental and social justice NGO.
2. Spokespeople for CAAT and The Corner House are available for interview.
CAAT - Symon Hill
020 7281 0297 or 07990 673 232
Corner House - Nicholas Hildyard
07773 750 534