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Important Court of Appeal judgment for victims of human trafficking

15 February 2017

Henry Blaxland QCMichelle BrewerTom WainwrightShahida BegumShu Shin LuhFelicity WilliamsMaria Moodie

 

On 9th February 2017, a specially convened Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the case of R v VJ and others (Anti-Slavery International intervening) [2017] EWCA Crim 36 – an important decision for human trafficking victims who are compelled to commit offences as a result of their trafficked status.

The Court, which included the Lord Chief Justice and the Vice-President of the Criminal Division, determined the interrelation between the pre-existing law and the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the effect of the UK’s international obligations on the common law defence of duress and the relationship between the Crown Prosecution Service and the Competent Authority.

A number of defendants were represented by counsel from Garden Court Chambers.

The first defendant was represented by Henry Blaxland QC and Tom Wainwright.

The second Defendant was represented by Henry Blaxland QC and Michelle Brewer.

The third and fourth Defendants were represented by Tom Wainwright.

The fifth Defendant was represented by Shahida Begum.

All were instructed by Philippa Southwell of Birds Solicitors

The intervener, Anti-Slavery International, was represented by Shu Shin Luh, Maria Moodie and Felicity Williams of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Zubier Yazdani of Deighton Pierce Glyn Solicitors.

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