Arms Sales and Parliamentary Accountability: the Role of the Quadripartite Committee

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Britain is one of the top conventional arms transferors globally, and it appears to be devoted to ensure transparency and accountability in such exports. The Scott Report of 1996, an enquiry into weapon supplies to Iraq and Iran in the early 1980s, came up with various criticisms and recommendations, most importantly the need for greater transparency and parliamentary accountability on arms sales. This article enquires into the role of parliament in scrutinising the government and ensuring accountability in arms trading, with emphasis on the role of the Quadripartite Committee on Strategic Export Controls, the progress made since the Inquiry in this area and the strengths and challenges of the UK practices on the issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-680
Number of pages20
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Issue number4
Early online date17 Jul 2008
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • arms trade
  • parliamentary controls
  • select committees
  • accountability


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