A full judicial review will begin on Tuesday 7th February at the High Court against the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills’ decision to continue arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
The legal action brought by law firm Leigh Day on behalf of the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) is due to be heard over three days.
It follows serious allegations and compelling evidence that there is a clear risk Saudi forces might use the equipment to violate international humanitarian law (IHL) in their ongoing bombardment of Yemen.
According to CAAT over 10, 000 people have been killed in a campaign that has created a humanitarian catastrophe; destroying vital infrastructure and leaving 80% of the population in need of aid. Despite this, the UK has continued to arm the Saudi regime, with over £3.3billion worth of arms having been licensed since the bombing began last March.
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:
“For almost two years now, the UK has been complicit in the destruction of Yemen. UK fighter jets and bombs have played a central role in the bombardment, and UK political support has helped to underpin and legitimise it.
“We are always being told that the UK stands for free speech and democracy, yet it has sold billions of pounds worth of arms to one of the most brutal and repressive regimes in the world to use against one of the poorest countries in the region.”
Rosa Curling from law firm Leigh Day who is representing CAAT, said:
“We believe that the decision taken by the Secretary of State to continue to grant new licences for the sale of arms to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is unlawful.
“There is increasingly evidence being unearthed that the Saudi led coalition has committed serious breaches of international humanitarian law in Yemen."