Corner House-CAAT Response
in House of Lords Appeal

by The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

first published 4 June 2008

On 7-8 July 2008, five Law Lords of the House of Lords heard an appeal by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) against a High Court ruling on 10 April 2008 that the SFO acted unlawfully in December 2006 when it stopped its investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia. The ruling was a result of a judicial review brought by The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) that was held on 14th-15th February 2008 at the High Court before Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan.

Lawyers for the two groups submitted this response to the SFO Director's appeal, which focuses on two principles of law: the Rule of Law; and compliance with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The SFO Director appealed to the House of Lords (the UK's highest court) to determine how the UK Courts should apply these principles when assessing the legality of a prosecutor's decision to stop an investigation as a result of threats of adverse consequences made by powerful persons if it is not stopped.

This response outlines the facts of the case with reference to the evidence released during the judicial review hearing itself and then focuses on the two principles of law.

The Serious Fraud Office Director submitted this appeal against the High Court judgment that he had acted unlawfully.