#StopArmingSaudi: CAAT granted permission to pursue appeal against UK governement

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Around a dozen people climb over the rubble of demolished buildings in Yemen.
Villagers scour rubble following the bombing of Hajar Aukaish, Yemen, in April 2015.

In the UK Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) have been granted permission to continue to pursue it's legal case against the British government regarding arms sales to Saudi Arabia. On 4th May two Court of Appeal judges, Lord Justice Irwin and Lord Justice Flaux, granted CAAT permission to appeal, and the case will be heard by the Court of Appeal in the months ahead. Since the bombing by the Saudi-led coalition began in March 2015, the UK government has licensed £4.6 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, including £2.7 billion worth of ML10 licences (Aircraft, helicopters, drones), and £1.9 billion worth of ML4 licences (Grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures).

The original case was brought in February 2017 – over several days of public and closed hearings, CAAT made the case that the UK government was violating it's own export licensing rules, by continuing to supply to Saudi Arabia despiteoverwhelming evidence that UK weapons are being used in violations of International Humanitarian Law in Yemen.” Lawyers Leigh Day, representing CAAT, argued that the decision to grant the licences was against UK arms export policy, which clearly states that the government must deny such licences if there is a ‘clear risk’ that the arms ‘might’ be used in ‘a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law’. However, in July 2017, the High Court rejected CAAT's claim – the ruling of the Court of Appeal allows CAAT to appeal this decision.

Documents relating to the case can be found here: https://www.caat.org.uk/resources/countries/saudi-arabia/legal-2016

In a separate case, in April 2018 campaign organisations from across Europe began legal proceedings against an Italian arms company and the Italian state licensing authorities. The legal challenge focuses on a particular bombing of the village of Deir al-Jari in Hudaydah, which took place on 8th October 2016. The Saudi attack killed a family of six, including four children - among the debris left by the bombing were parts identifying the missile as from the MK80 series of “general purpose” missiles, and a suspension lug for holding the bomb in place on the plane – the serial number on the lug identifies it as a batch manufactured in June 2014 by RWM Italia.

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