Activists outside High Court with Stop Arming Saudi Arabia banner

Arms Sales Back on Trial in 2023

CAAT's legal challenge over the supply of UK weapons for the war in Yemen will proceed in the High Court in January 2023.

We have good news to share!  The High Court has confirmed that our legal case to challenge the government over the supply of UK weapons for the war in Yemen has been listed for hearing on 31st January – 2nd February 2023. 

Stay tuned to find out how you can get involved campaigning as we approach the hearing!


In October 2020 CAAT filed a new Judicial Review application into the legality of the UK government’s decision to renew arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition that is bombing Yemen. On 20 April 2021 CAAT was granted permission for its legal challenge to proceed to the High Court.

UK complicity in Yemen war

The UK has supplied billions of pounds worth of fighter jets, bombs and missiles to the Saudi-led coalition for use in Yemen. At least 8,983 civilians have been killed in attacks by the coalition, which has targeted homes and farms, schools and hospitals, weddings and funerals.

Arms sales in these circumstances are prohibited by UK rules, which say they should not be allowed where there is a “clear risk” that a weapon “might” be used in a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law.

Yet the UK government continues to promote and protect weapons sales, despite the devastating human cost. In total, CAAT estimates that the UK has supplied arms worth over £23 billion to Saudi Arabia since the war in Yemen began.

We are determined to put a stop to such sales once and for all.

In 2019, legal action by CAAT forced the government to stop issuing export licences for weapons that could be used in the war in Yemen. In a landmark decision, the government was ordered to retake all its previous decisions in a lawful manner.

But in July 2020 the government resumed arms sales, claiming any violations of international humanitarian law were only ‘isolated incidents’. Since then it has licensed more than £2.2 billion additional weapons sales in support of the war.

CAAT’s new case argues that the government’s conclusions that there were only a “small number” of violations of IHL committed by coalition forces, and that these did not form a “pattern”, are irrational, flying in the face of the weight of evidence to the contrary. CAAT further argues that even “isolated incidents” of violations could still involve a clear risk of further violations.

The UK government refuses to act, but our challenge can force change.

Judges will now consider whether the government’s decision to resume arms sales is lawful.

This new ruling is an important step forward, increasing the pressure for the UK government to finally end the arms sales fuelling the war in Yemen crisis.

Support the campaign

CAAT would not exist without its supporters. Each new supporter helps us strengthen our call for an end to the international arms trade.

Keep in touch