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May 2019

First Administrative Challenge launched by ACAT against the Prime Minister of France (Urgent Request)




Armed Conflict in Yemen

Recipient State

Saudi Arabia

Case Type

Administrative Challenge




ACAT filed two separate claims seeking to halt the export of arms to Saudi Arabia that risked being involved in the violation of the fundamental rights of the Yemeni population.

Similarly to ASER’s third administrative challenge, in this case, ACAT challenged the decision to issue customs permits that would enable the transit of French arms to Saudi Arabia from the French port of Le Havre on Saudi cargo ship ‘Bahri Yanbu’. The claimants also relied on the Code of Administrative Justice, Article L.521-2, to request the cancellation of the contested customs permits as a matter of urgency for the protection of the fundamental freedoms of the Yemeni civilian population.

The court did not agree with the claimants and dismissed the claim. The crux of the court’s reasoning was that they did not consider that the contested permits could ‘directly and instantly’ affect the Yemeni civilian population’s fundamental rights, contending that ‘the customs clearance authorisation for these weapons does not create a marked and imminent danger to the lives of civilians. In which case this authorisation does not result in a seriously and manifestly illegal interference with liberty or…right to respect for life’.


09 May 2019

Case enters the courts. Urgent request filed at the Administrative Court of Paris for the cancellation of customs permits.

09 May 2019

Judgement issued. Case dismissed as unfounded.

Contact the Claimants

This case was brought by Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture (ACAT).

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