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Peter Watkins Witness Statement of August 2016

Appears in case: First Administrative Challenge against the Secretary of State for International Trade


United Kingdom


Armed Conflict in Yemen

Recipient State

Saudi Arabia

Document Type

Witness Statements

Peter Watkins, the Director General Security Policy at the Ministry of Defence, makes this statement on behalf of the government. It explains the work of the Ministry of Defence in relation to the licensing decisions that are under challenge. In particular, it addresses the advice that the MoD provides to the Foreign Secretary to enable to them to assess and advise the secretary of state for international trade whether Criterion 2(c) is met with respect to UK export licences. It states that this advice includes the analysis of the MoD of alleged IHL violations by the Coalition in Yemen, reflects their understanding of Saudi forces military process and procedures, and is informed by their engagement with Saudi authorities. It also explains how the MoD have bought allegations of concern to the attention of the Saudis and assisted in the development of their capacity to conduct operations consistent with IHL. It emphasises its extensive monitoring of individual allegations of IHL breaches and highlights that much of the material on which the MOD bases it analysis of IHL allegations is sensitive and cannot be referred to in open court for national security reasons.

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