UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Dublin Council’s Chief Executive Nixes Israel and Hewlett Packard boycott

Dublin Council’s chief executive has confirmed that the Council will NOT be implementing any boycott of Hewlett Packard and of Israeli goods, since such a boycott is illegal.

Owen P Keegan, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council

Dublin City Council voted in support of a boycott and economic sanctions against Israel on 9 April 2018, and in particular called for the council to discontinue business contracts with Hewlett Packard.

However, Irish4Israel, with assistance from UKLFI, had written to Dublin City Council before the boycott, advising them that the proposed Dublin City Council motion was flagrantly contrary to (a) EU public procurement legislation, (b) the World Trade Organisation Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), and (c) Articles 34 and 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). If adopted it would expose Dublin Council and Ireland to claims for damages by HP and withdrawal of benefits accorded by the USA under the GPA to Irish and other EU goods, services and contractors.

Owen P Keegan, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council has, on 10 April 2018,  written to Irish4Israel, saying:

“Legal responsibility for all procurement by Dublin City Council rests with me as Chief Executive and not with the Elected Members of the Council.   In exercising this responsibility I am bound to have regards to national and EU procurement law.  In view of this, I will not be implementing a procurement boycott of Hewlett-Packard or of any other entity, based on the motion passed by the City Council at its meeting last night as to do so would mean acting in breach of national and EU procurement law based on the legal advice I have received.”

Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UKLFI said: “I am delighted that pointing out the illegality of the motion passed by Dublin City Council has had the effect of neutralising it.”