UK’s arms export procedures give Israel benefit of the doubt

Government faces judicial review over its assessments of whether Israel is breaking international law in Gaza

UK politics – latest updates

Decisions on whether to suspend UK arms export licences are largely the preserve of a very small group of cabinet ministers advised by lawyers from the Foreign Office. The role of parliament, which used to have a specialist select committee overseeing arms exports, has been downgraded.

Ministers like to give the impression that any decision is a considered examination of the evidence judged against the clear criteria that “the government will not grant a licence if it determines there is a clear risk that the items might be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.

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