Court of Appeal lays down detailed guidance for government assessment of trafficking victims’ evidence

In a judgment of 21 December 2020, the Court of Appeal laid down detailed guidance on the correct approach to medical and other expert evidence in assessing whether there are conclusive grounds to conclude that a person is a victim of trafficking (paras 121-123).  In doing so, it agreed with the claimant victims that the approach taken in their cases had been unlawful.

DPG acted for Anti-Slavery International alongside the AIRE Centre, who intervened on the broader question of the standard of proof that should be applied in this context. Although the Court did not rule that the government’s approach to that issue was unlawful, the Court’s guidance on the overall approach to be followed has brought important clarity to the law on victim identification.

The judgment lays down detailed guidance that will be of use to trafficking victims and those representing them in navigating the UK’s National Referral Mechanism, which is crucial for victims to access long-term rehabilitation and removal from their trafficking circumstances.

The judgment can be found here.

Zubier Yazdani, Ralitsa Peykova and Daniel Carey acted for Anti-Slavery International. Tom de la Mare QC, Jason Pobjoy and Gayatri Sarathy, all of Blackstone Chambers, were instructed by DPG.

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