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Successful judicial review claim by trafficking victim


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A successful judicial review claim by a trafficking victim is reported at R (on the application of FM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 844 (Admin) (26 March 2015). Philip Mott QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge found that the Home Office had unlawfully refused to grant status to the victim, who it was agreed was a genuine trafficking victim. The Home Office reasoning had been essentially that that was all in the past now:

Although you were found to be trafficked because of the particular circumstances of your case, those circumstances no longer exist and as you do not qualify for leave to remain in the UK you will be liable for removal.

Key expert evidence was ignored by the Home Office and the Home Office had failed to follow its own policy by triggering a police investigation, thereby denying the victim specialist care and letting the perpetrators off the hook.

The court granted the victim a declaration that her rights under Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been breached. Article 4 is the prohibition of slavery and forced labour.

Pretty damning findings against Home Office employees on the day that the Modern Slavery Act 2015 passed into law. It is all very well passing laws; what matters is whether they are enforced.

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Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists alike.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.