Campaigners win legal challenge over government’s 'anti-democratic' pension regulation

22 June 2017 - 12:30pm
Press release

Today the High Court ruled that the government cannot block local councils from divesting from companies complicit in human rights abuses.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC) judicial review had challenged the UK government’s controversial new pension investment regulations. The new government regulations concern the Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) and restrict local councils from ethically divesting from companies, including those complicit in the occupation of Palestine.

War on Want's senior militarism and security campaigner, Ryvka Barnard, said:

"Today is a victory for local democracy and the fight for human rights. This appalling regulation would have blocked local councils from deciding how to invest their pension funds by giving central government the power to veto decisions it doesn’t like, in relation to human rights, arms trade, fossil fuels and much else.

"Over 23,000 people rejected the government’s anti-democratic plan in a public consultation before this regulation was passed, yet instead of being applauded for caring about human rights, they were ignored and treated with contempt by the government. This case went to court because no other option was left. The people were right to take up the call to protect local democracy, and have been totally vindicated.

"The regulation was also an explicit attempt to clamp down on the growing strength of the grassroots Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which aims to end government and corporate complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.

"This victory will give new energy to our movement to stand up for human rights and justice."

Notes to editors

For interview requests contact Ross Hemingway, Senior Media and Communications Officer, on +44 (0) 7983 550 728

 

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