Transparency about arms exports: hearing at Amsterdam District Court

Today (August 24h, 2022) at 10.30 am, PILP-NJCM will present a case at the Amsterdam District Court that deals with transparency about arms exports.

Two years ago, PILP-NJCM submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request under the Dutch Freedom of Information Act (Wob), to request information about a license for arms exports to Egypt. This request was rejected because the requested information would fall under the professional secrecy of the Dutch Customs authorities. To date, the PILP-NJCM has not been allowed to see any of the relevant documents.

Today, PILP-NJCM will argue before the Court that the refusal to grant access to the (decision on) the export license constitutes a violation of Article 10 ECHR (freedom of expression and freedom of the press). According to the European Court of Human Rights, in order to ensure the proper functioning of the rule of law, NGOs have a special role as public watchdogs, which makes access to government information even more important. When it comes to a controversial subject such as arms exports, it is all the more important that organisations such as NJCM can fulfil this role in a rightful manner.