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Campaign Against Arms Trade court hearing to challenge sales of arms to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has a judicial review court hearing on 31 January to challenge the UK government's decision to renew licences for arms sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) when the equipment might be used in Yemen.

Posted on 30 January 2023

The challenge is being brought after the Court of Appeal ruled in 2019 that the UK Government acted unlawfully when it licensed the sale of UK-made arms to Saudi forces for use in Yemen without making an assessment as to whether or not past incidents amounted to breaches of International Humanitarian Law.

A year later, in July 2020, the Government renewed the licences, saying steps had been taken to comply with the Court of Appeal judgment.
At the hearing tomorrow, CAAT will argue that the Government:
  • Failed to identify all of the cases where there has been a serious breach of International Humanitarian Law
  • Wrongly concluded that there is no pattern to the breaches
  • Failed to properly take into account the failure of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to investigate, prevent or punish serious breaches of International Humanitarian Law itself
  • Misdirected itself as to the nature of a serious breach of International Humanitarian Law.

The hearing will take place in Court 76 at the Royal Courts of Justice.

CAAT is represented by Leigh Day lawyer Erin Alcock and Leigh Day partner Waleed Sheikh.
Erin Alcock
Human rights Judicial review

Erin Alcock

Erin is an associate in the human rights team

Waleed Sheik
Human rights Judicial review

Waleed Sheikh

Waleed Sheikh is a partner in the human rights department.

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Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) is considering what legal options are available after the Government announced that it will resume the granting of new licences for arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the coalition that is bombing Yemen.