Four Kenyans are given permission to bring legal action against the British government over alleged colonial atrocities during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s, despite objections by Foreign Office.
The four elderly Kenyans, who are now in their 70s and 80s, claim they were brutalised in detention camps between 1952 and 1961.
Paulo Muoka Nzili and Jane Muthoni Mara told the judge at an earlier hearing they had been castrated.
Wambugu Wa Nyingi claims he was beaten unconscious in an incident in which 11 men died, whilst Jane Muthoni Mara alleges she had been subjected to sexual violence.
Lawyers for the four, who were not in court today, say that strategic violence was used on those involved in the Mau Mau uprising, as well as against those who were simply sympathetic to the cause.
The Kenyan Human Rights Commission has said that 90,000 Kenyans were executed or tortured and 160,000 people detained during the lengthy suppression of the uprising.
But the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says London cannot be held liable because the atrocities in the camps were committed by a Kenyan colonial administration and that all legal responsibility was transferred to the Kenyan Republic when it became independent in 1963.
"Despite today’s judgement, the Government will continue to defend fully these proceedings given the length of time elapsed and the complex legal and constitutional questions the case raises," the FCO said in a statement.
The decision comes after the Foreign Office released 2,000 boxes of documents in May that detailed the actions of former colonial administrations. 300 are related to Kenya and 30 are relevant to the Mau Mau case.
Lawyers acting for the Kenyans claim the documents show that London had knowledge of the incidents.
07 April 2011