On June 2009, Al-Haq, in cooperation with solicitor Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), filed a lawsuit challenging the UK government over its failure to fulfil its obligations under international law with respect to Israel’s activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (for more information click here)
The lines below are a press release by Public Interest Lawyers of the recent updates of the case:
Al-Haq, a human rights non-Governmental organisation based in Ramalah, West Bank, have a legal challenge being heard by the Court of Appeal on the morning of Thursday 25th February 2010. The application for judicial review focuses on the UK’s international obligations in respect of Israel’s actions during Operation Cast Lead in December 2008/January 2009.
It is well known that the UN’s report from Richard Goldstone and others provides clear evidence as to Israel’s serious breaches of Geneva Convention provisions and/or the commission of “war crimes” in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. This evidence focuses primarily on Israel’s attacks on civilians and civilian and UN objectives.
International Law is clear on the UK’s legal position and Al-Haq argue that it is in flagrant breach of it’s international obligations not to render aid or assistance to Israel and to co-operate with other states using all lawful means to bring the humanitarian crisis in Gaza to an end (caused by the continuing blockade by Israel).
The question that arises for a domestic court is this: if the UK is in breach of its international obligations can the court in an area of foreign policy make a declaration to this effect? The UK Government says such a question involves trespassing into a forbidden territory. Al-Haq’s lawyers argue that a court cannot, in effect, ring fence clear issues of illegality simply because the illegal policy is a foreign policy matter.
Al-Haq are being represented by Michael Fordham QC, Raza Husain and Zachary Douglas instructed by Public Interest Lawyers.
Phil Shiner the solicitor for Al-Haq said today:
“We all know that the human rights violations and potential issue of war crimes makes the context of this case extremely troubling. The UK is in flagrant breach of international law and continues to aid and assist Israel – including by arm sales – as if Operation Cast Lead had never happened. Al-Haq argues that it is entitled to a full hearing of its case and that if the UK met its international obligations over Israel it would make a real difference to the ongoing humanitarian crisis”.
Shawan Jabarin, Director of Al-Haq said today:
“This case provides an opportunity for justice to prevail over politics and instills hope in the Palestinian people that international law is an avenue through which peace can be achieved.”
For more information about this case please contact Phil Shiner or Paul McNab on 0121 515 5069 or Phil Shiner on 07715 485 248