At the beginning of 2009, activist comedian Mark Thomas decided to do a weekly show about the meltdown of the world's economy. "It's The Economy Stupid" combines stand up comedy with interviews with invited guests -- economists, academics, MPs, trade unionists, journalists (and members of The Corner House) -- on stage to explain what happened, find out what is going on, and explore what we can do about it.

The Corner House and CAAT issued this press release after the House of Lords (the UK's highest court) overturned the High Court's ruling of April 2008 that the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had acted unlawfully when he terminated a corruption investigation into BAE Systems' arms deals with Saudi Arabia. The law lords judgment confirms that the UK is in flagrant breach of its duty to implement and give force to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

On 30 July 2008, five Law Lords overturned the High Court's ruling of April 2008 when they stated that the SFO Director had acted lawfully in stopping a corruption investigation into BAE Systems' arms deals with Saudi Arabia when faced with a threat to national security. They stated that the Director's discretion to drop criminal proceedings extended legally to taking account of the threat uttered by Saudi Arabia that it would withdraw diplomatic and intelligence cooperation with the UK if the investigation continued, even though the threat was "ugly and obviously unwelcome".

The UK Government is using emergency powers to amend the Export and Investment Guarantees Act 1991 governing the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), so that exporting companies can apply for insurance after they have started constructing their overseas projects (such as oil and gas pipelines, hydroelectric dams and power plants). The amendments would enable companies to circumvent the Department's human rights, environment and sustainable development safeguards.

BAE Systems, the UK's largest arms company, has cancelled all its public insurance for its controversial arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The company's decision came to light as a result of legal correspondence between The Corner House/Campaign Against Arms Trade with the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) and subsequent parliamentary questions tabled by Vince Cable MP. By cancelling its insurance, BAE has let the ECGD off the hook from possible legal action over its support for the Saudi deals.

The Woolf Report entitled Ethical business conduct in BAE Systems plc -- the way forward was published on 6 May 2008. This presentation explores how BAE has used the report from a critical public relations perspective. 

This presentation raises some concerns about the term "energy security". presentation at PLATFORM's "Unravelling the Carbon Web".

This exchange of letters between the UK's export credit agency and lawyers acting for The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade revealed that BAE Systems had cancelled all its public insurance for its arms sales to Saudi Arabia with effect from 1 September 2008. These sales have been underwritten by the agency for more than two decades and accounted for half its portfolio.

The Corner House and others carried out a training session to assist Iraqi government officials and civil servants in understanding the principles of human rights and Iraq's international obligations in relation to investment agreements.

The Merowe/Hamadab Dam on the River Nile in Sudan, which was completed in 2009, is the largest hydroproject in Africa. The major contracts were awarded to three European companies: Lahmeyer International, Alstom and ABB. Implementation to date has been characterised by human rights abuses, forced resettlement, illegality and a failure to abide by international standards. The companies consistently failed to use their influence to halt the dam's implementation until issues surrounding its impacts were resolved.