Skip to main content

Witness Statement (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Rights Watch (UK))

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

This witness statement from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Rights Watch (UK), who are acting as formal interveners in the process, provides information on the position of international law on the attribution of state responsibility for an internationally wrongful act and information regarding the current state of the conflict in Yemen and its impact on civilians. On the matter of state responsibility, it is submitted that there is at least a prima facie case that the government’s decision to continue to grant new licences for the sale or transfer of arms or military equipment to Saudi Arabia for possible use in Yemen would breach the UK’s obligations under article 16 of the Articles on State responsibility, providing additional reasons for the court to conclude that the grant and maintenance of export licences at issue in this case is unlawful. On the matter of the situation in Yemen, it is submitted that there has been a continuation of civilian casualties in 2016, particularly as a result of airstrikes conducted by the Saudi-led coalition.