Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Criminal Court of Appeal ignores immigration judge’s trafficking determination


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In BTT v R [2021] EWCA Crim 4 the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) required a man appealing a conviction for growing cannabis to give oral evidence about his account of human trafficking. It then relied on this evidence to depart from the Upper Tribunal’s decision that he was a victim of trafficking at the time he committed the offence and during the subsequent trial. The court commented:

Having heard and seen the applicant give evidence, this Court is not really assisted by the decision of the Upper Tribunal which was dependent upon witness statements untested by cross-examination which put forward an account which cannot stand with what the applicant said in the witness box. Likewise, the expert evidence cannot lend credibility to the account which the applicant has now put forward.

A concerning case which suggests that the Court of Appeal might be becoming more reluctant to entertain criminal appeals by trafficking victims.

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Alex Schymyck

Alex Schymyck

Alex is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers