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In court tomorrow: Government seeks to delay court case over UK arms exports to Israel until December
22، Apr 2024

Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) and Al-Haq are asking the court to grant permission for a judicial review of the government's decision to continue granting arms to Israel that risk being used in violations of international humanitarian law in Gaza. The oral hearing to reverse the initial dismissal of the case against the UK government is set for tomorrow, Tuesday 23rd April, at the High Court.   

In a last- minute strategic shift before the hearing, the government has argued that the court hasn’t seen all the relevant documents and that they can only be shared in closed, secret proceedings due to national security. This indicates the government’s intent to rely heavily on Israeli assurances whilst evading public accountability and scrutiny of its actions as neither Al-Haq nor their lawyers will be able to see the evidence presented in those proceedings.  

Importantly, the Government has requested that the hearing be delayed to December, which betrays a total disregard for the facts on the ground in Gaza where the horrifying death toll only continues to rise. This will mean tomorrow’s oral hearing will largely be about urgency: GLAN and Al Haq are asking for the court to hear the case at the earliest possible opportunity, which is July.  

Quote from Charlotte Andrews-Briscoe, Lawyer at GLAN: 

“The world has watched as 34,000 people have been killed, and more are being killed every day. Over the weekend, a single strike in Rafah killed 17 children. The case for urgency has never been clearer. Yet, for the duration of this litigation, the Government has used every delaying tactic at its disposal. Now, the Government has asked for a hearing in December. It is shameful. Has the Government no regard for the immense loss of human life thus far, some of whom will have been killed with British weapons? How many more mothers, fathers, daughters and sons will have died by December?” 

Quote from Dearbhla Minogue, Senior Lawyer at GLAN:  

"The UK government has stretched legal reasoning to the point of absurdity in order to arm a country that is committing grave violations of international humanitarian law. The Government seems to be making this process as painstakingly slow as possible. Given the urgency of the situation in Gaza the Government should listen to the international legal consensus and halt weapons sales now. 

We first wrote to the government on 16 October. It is completely unacceptable to be told on the eve of the hearing that they have not even considered the issue of closed material procedures." 

WHEN: The hearing is at 10:30am. From 8.30 am GLAN and Al-Haq will be outside court available for interview. 

WHERE: Royal Courts of Justice, Court 73. More at: Royal Courts of Justice daily cause list 22 April 2024 - GOV.UK (  

MEDIA CONTACT: Abigail Casey GLAN +447890589188 [email protected] 

The UK government is refusing to release legal advice from government lawyers on the legality of arms sales. Last week ex-Supreme Court justices, including the court’s former president Lady Hale, along with 600+ lawyers, academics & retired senior judges warned the government that it is breaking international law and not only should they suspend licenses, it should be doing more to prevent the unfolding genocide.    

Since January GLAN and AlL-Haq have submitted six factual updates to the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, for the purposes of her ongoing assessment of arms sales to Israel. These updates have been sent via the Government Legal Department, and in the context of ongoing litigation, which means the information can be taken to be legally within the Government’s knowledge.  

In addition, GLAN has submitted information from a soon-to-be-launched platform which brings together online social media evidence on key incidents in Gaza in an evidentiary format. The International Court of Justice has warned of the real and imminent risk of genocide and it is the government’s obligation to scrutinise this in real time and take into account investigations by international NGOs and Israeli organisations.