The UK's attempt to justify its refusal to condemn cluster munition use on the basis of article 21 was not founded in legal analysis, but in political desperation. Although the UK argued that the language of the Dubrovnik outcome documents should be changed, states parties to the ban treaty rightly rejected the UK's objection and collectively issued an emphatic condemnation of use.
It's less than two week until one of the world's biggest arms fairs, Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI), rolls into London. The biennial event (taking place 15-18 September) will bring thousands of arms companies representatives together with mercenaries, generals and military delegations from some of the worst dictatorships in the world.
When countries like the UK sell weapons it doesn't just facilitate the attacks they are used in, it also sends a message of support to the governments that are carrying them out. For this to change it will require more than a few platitudes about human rights. It will need a complete overhaul of government priorities and an end to the hypocrisy that is at the heart of foreign policy.
By the end, 16million people had been killed and 20million wounded in a war that had devastated and destroyed whole cities. Civilians and soldiers, often from poor backgrounds, paid the terrible price for a battle that was brought on by the rich and powerful rulers of competing imperialist powers...Very few benefited from the killing. It did, however, line the pockets of arms companies and their shareholders.
Arms sales are not apolitical acts. On one hand, they bolster the buyers by giving them a British endorsement as a fig-leaf of respectability, but they also buy the UK government's political support and compliance. As the crackdown continues to escalate it is becoming increasingly clear that decisions being made in support of arms sales are having serious consequences for the victims of state repression.
With the polls tightening and the bookmakers shortening their odds, there is now a very real chance that Scottish people will vote for independence in two weeks time... However, one of the most positive contributions has been the Scottish Government's commitment to a 'do no harm' arms exports policy in the event of a Yes vote.
Without justice there can be no peace in Bahrain, and that won't change as long as the UK is happy to promote and provide political cover for an illegitimate government that is inflicting untold misery on its own citizens. Only by ending the political and military support that is strengthening the regime can the UK ensure that it is promoting human rights and acting the best interests of the people of Bahrain.
Coming soon near you it's The Terminator. Yes, folks the fully autonomous weapon is firmly on the horizon. Whether on the battlefield or targeted on the streets, these weapons should have no place in warfare or policing. But a future where the decision on whether you live or die could soon be made by a Killer Robot. It sounds like science fiction, but the reality is moving ever closer.