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Challenge to export of arms to Saudi Arabia

Date: 07/02/2017

Today marks the start of the Administrative Court hearing in R (Campaign Against Arms Trade) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation, and Skillsa significant judicial review challenge to the UK’s trade in arms to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The challenge argues that it is unlawful under the Export Control Act 2002 for the UK government to continue to allow export of arms to Saudi Arabia following the evidence available as to the alleged breaches of international humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition in the current conflict in Yemen.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Rights Watch (UK) have been granted leave to intervene, and argue that, as a matter of public international law, the UK itself is potentially fixed with State responsibility for aiding and assisting relevant breaches of international law by Saudi Arabia.

Anthony Jones acts for the interveners, led by Jemima Stratford QC of Brick Court and Sudhanshu Swaroop QC of 20 Essex St, and instructed by Debevoise & Plimpton.

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