UK government acted ‘unlawfully’ in restricting boycotts of Israel #BDS

Supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign hold placards bearing the picture of Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni during a demonstration in central London on May 15 2014, against her visit to the city. US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israel's chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni in London, just weeks after his relentless bid to broker a treaty with the Palestinians came screeching to a halt. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL / AFP / BEN STANSALL

Ruling means UK councils now free to advocate for ethical divestment policies, including boycotts of Israel on basis of human rights abuse

Britain’s High Court has ruled that the UK government acted “unlawfully” by attempting to stop local councils from supporting boycotts of Israel. The ruling now means that British councils are able to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and pursue it through their pension schemes.

The case was brought to the High Court by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) after Department for Local Government and Communities released guidance advising councils on how to invest and divest their pension scheme. The PSC asked the judge, Sir Ross Cranston, to rule that the guidance was legally flawed as one section prevents funds set up under the scheme from engaging in boycotts and the “ethical divestment” of companies accused of being complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Campaigners say the illegal occupation is 50 years old this month and people have a right to decide not to profit from human rights abuses. Their counsel, Nigel Giffin QC, said it was the government case that boycotts were contrary to UK foreign policy. Government lawyers argued that all the grounds of challenge lacked substance.
Details in Middle Eye website