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Over four years have passed since the Scott Report into the arms to Iraq affair highlighted serious flaws in the current system of arms export controls. The Report recommended a thorough review of the 1939 Import, Export and Custom Powers (Defence) Act, which was introduced as an emergency measure at the start of the Second World War. Amnesty International and Oxfam are concerned that, despite publishing a White Paper on Strategic Export Controls in July 1998, the Government has yet to introduce such new legislation. Amnesty International and Oxfam welcome the progress already made by this Government to strengthen strategic export controls. However, without new legislation to close the following loopholes in the current control regime, the Government cannot ensure that UK arms transfers do not contribute to human rights violations, fuel conflict or undermine development.


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