The Doughty Street Anti-Trafficking Team is a cross-disciplinary team with specialist expertise on rights of victims of trafficking within different areas of law in which we are consistently and highly ranked; amongst these:

  • crime, including appeals against conviction and CCRC applications;

  • criminal remedies, confiscation and compensation orders;

  • extradition;

  • immigration and asylum;

  • public law challenges to decisions under the National Referral Mechanism for victims of trafficking;

  • public law challenges in relation to support, assistance, housing;

  • court of protection;

  • equality and discrimination;

  • employment;

  • age assessments;

  • unlawful detention and false imprisonment;

  • claims for compensation - Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

  • police actions, including failures to investigate;

  • judicial reviews of failures to prosecute and of decisions to prosecute;

  • inquests;

  • civil claims and claims for damages;

  • claims in tort against public authorities and traffickers;

  • negligence claims - including failure to identify defences and discontinuance of prosecution

  • licensing - Gangmasters Licensing Authority

  • corporate accountability and supply chains

Our members have highly specialised knowledge of the interlocking domestic, European, and international legal frameworks specifically designed to protect victims of trafficking.

Members of the team have helped to shape this developing area of law: they frequently act for and work with leading NGOs and campaigners in this field, advise on legislative and policy developments and Consultations, including campaigning for the offence of holding another person in slavery or servitude to be brought into English law through the Coroners and Justice Act 2009; and in relation to legal aid and civil remedies for victims of trafficking in the Modern Slavery Bill currently passing through Parliament.

Members have been involved in some of the leading cases to date; and are also involved in setting up and advising on policy and systemic challenges, working together effectively across the different areas.

Notable cases include:

Gudanaviciene & Ors, R (on the application of) v The Director of Legal Aid Casework & Or [2014] EWCA Civ 1622 – challenge to the refusal of exceptional case funding under LASPO to victims of trafficking for legal advice prior to a reasonable grounds decision by the Competent Authority, as a breach of enforceable EU/Convention rights under the Trafficking Directive 2011/36, Charter rights, the European Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings, Articles 4 and 8 ECHR.

The Queen on the application of Detention Action v Secretary of State for the Home Department[2014] EWCA Civ 1634. Detained Fast Track asylum process challenge – including the detention of victims of trafficking.

JVL v. Austria, Application no. 58216/12. The first case concerning the obligations of a transit state towards victims of trafficking. Article 4 ECHR challenge to the refusal to investigate credible allegations of trafficking by three victims of forced labour and trafficking on the basis that parts of the trafficking chain occurred outside of Austria. With the AIRE Centre.

Igbinovia v President of the Criminal Division (Seccion Segunda De La Audencia Provincial De Santa Cruz De Tenerife) [2014] EWHC 4512 (Admin) (09 December 2014) - appeal from the decision of District Judge Snow ordering the appellant's extradition to Spain to serve the balance of a sentence of imprisonment for the importation of cocaine, on the basis that it was wrong to proceed with the extradition hearing when the issue of trafficking was still being considered under the NRM; and as an abuse of process.

R (Atamewan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] 1 WLR 1959 - successful challenge to the Home Office policy on "historical victims" of trafficking resulting in withdrawal of the policy which denied protection and assistance to victims who delayed in approaching the authorities. The Divisional Court also held that the Home Office have an Article 4 positive obligation to trigger an investigation where a credible allegation of trafficking is received. 

R v LZ [2012] EWCA Crim 1867: Conviction of victim of trafficking quashed despite initial guilty plea.

HA CO/12029/2011. Challenge to the treatment of asylum appeals as abandoned where victims of trafficking are granted twelve months leave to remain. Led the Home Office to amend its Asylum Process Instruction on Discretionary Leave so as to grant leave for one year and one day to enable victims to pursue a statutory appeal.

The Government of Lithuania v AI [2010] EWHC 2299 (Admin). Extradition defeated owing to protection concerns because AI had been trafficked into prostitution and was AI of specific assistance to the police in this country in connection with the investigation into trafficking of women for prostitution.

For more information please contact Sian Wilkins on 020 7404 1313.