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December 2019 - Ongoing

Communication to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC




Armed Conflict in Yemen

Recipient State

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

Case Type




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This submission calls for investigations into the defendants’ contribution to a number of war crimes as defined by the Rome Statute, including direct attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure. The submission relies on 26 incidents of airstrikes allegedly conducted by the Coalition on residential buildings, schools, hospitals, a museum and world heritage sites, that may be characterised as war crimes, and argues that these are part of a ‘pattern’ of IHL violations committed by the Coalition since March 2015.

Although the defendants have not directly carried out any attacks in Yemen, the Rome Statute foresees the criminal responsibility of individuals whose conduct facilitates or assists the commission of a crime, known as secondary or accessory modes of liability. In this communication, the complainants have argued that the defendants are criminally responsible for their role in aiding and abetting the commission of war crimes. Rome Statute, Article 25(3)(c)

It is argued that they provided the means for the commission of these crimes by providing weapons that the Coalition forces then used in unlawful attacks in Yemen. It is submitted that the subjective element (mens rea) required under the Rome Statute is also established as the the individuals were aware of the Coalition’s criminal behaviour and still exported the arms with the awareness that they contributed to the crime.

The communication to the OTP is still under preliminary examination. Further information on the communication can be found here


11 Dec 2019

A communication on the situation in Yemen and the role of European companies and government actors is submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor by the claimants.

Read case report here


14 January 2020

Extraterritorial Obligations of Arms Exporting Corporations: New Communication to the ICC

Marina Aksenova and Linde Bryk | Opinio Juris

This blog post provides explanation and analysis of two central aspects of the submission to the Office of the Prosecutor, namely its focus on corporate actors and the interpretation of complicity of corporate actors under the Rome Statute.

20 January 2020

Complicity in War Crimes through (Legal) Arms Supplies?

Kai Ambos | EJIL:Talk!

This blog post considers whether criminal complicity under international law is possible when exports are licenced by national authorities, in light of the communication to the OTP and with a particular focus on the German system.

18 October 2019

Individual Criminal Liability for Arms Exports under the ICC Statute: A Case Study of Arms Exports from Europe to Saudi-led Coalition Members Used in the War in Yemen

Linde Bryk and Miriam Saage-Maaß | Journal of International Criminal Justice

This article examines the circumstances under which corporate officers responsible for weapons exports can be criminally liable as accomplices to war crimes under Article 25(3)(c) of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Contact the Claimants

Six NGOs are involved in this challenge – European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Mwatana for Human Rights, Amnesty International, the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), Centre Delàs, and Rete Italiana Pace e Disarmo.

If you would like to know more about this case, please get in touch with our primary contact, Cannelle Lavite (ECCHR) by email.