7 Harrington Street Chambers


Arms sales, UK sovereignty, new migrant laws

Issues of law in the press

UK arms sold to Saudi Arabia may breach international law

Hilary Benn calls for revival of Commons committee on arms controls to examine licences for weapons used by Riyadh

Labour is calling for the urgent re-establishment of parliament’s watchdog on arms exports to investigate whether British weapons sold to Saudi Arabia are breaching international
humanitarian law in Yemen.

Hilary Benn, the shadow foreign secretary, urged action by the House of Commons committee on arms export controls after it emerged that the body has not re-convened since the general election last May.

This means the UK’s arms sales have not been subject to independent scrutiny for more than nine months.

The committee had been instrumental in embarrassing the coalition government over its decision to allow the sale of chemicals that could have been used in nerve agent weapons in Syria.

Full story 

David Cameron: There's 'a good case' for new UK sovereignty law

A new law reasserting the power of UK Parliament law over the EU could be passed, David Cameron has said, once his reform talks are concluded.

"I think there is a good case for it," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

The prime minister did not deny reports he had asked Justice Secretary Michael Gove to look into it.

Mr Cameron, who is renegotiating Britain's EU membership ahead of an in-out vote before 2018, said he was "very suspicious" of Brussels.

The prime minister has said he wants the UK to stay in a reformed European Union, but he has not ruled out campaigning to leave if he cannot secure the changes he wants.

If a deal is agreed with other European leaders at a key EU summit in February, a vote on Britain's membership of the bloc could potentially be held as early as June.

Full story 

British Airways cites 'new migrant laws' to bar UK passengers with valid passports from flying to Austria

British Airways has been turning away passengers with valid passports from Austria-bound flights - citing “new rules” designed to control the flow of migrants.

A family of five were wrongly denied boarding at Gatwick airport last month. Gary Preston, his two sons, his partner Karen and her mother arrived in good time for their flight to Salzburg, for a trip to the Christmas market.

Mr Preston said: “We got to the check-in desk, with some excited boys as you can imagine, and started to load cases on as the BA clerk checked through our passports.

“She stopped on my partner Karen’s. She said something had come up on her computer she had to check. She then called a colleague and broke the news to us.”

The BA official told him that the Austrian government had changed the immigration rules to insist on a minimum of three months’ validity, and that his partner’s passport expired marginally too early, in March 2016.

Full story 

More news


With 48 Barristers operating across 6 specialist groups offering a fast, efficient advisory service

More about Civil Law


67 Barristers specialising in Criminal Law offering expert advocacy at all times

More about Criminal Law


From leading Queen's Counsel to experienced and flexible juniors covering every aspect of family law

More about Family Law