Garden Court Crime and Immigration Teams combine to achieve quashing of convictions for victims of human trafficking

Monday 25 October 2010

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Henry Blaxland QC and Michelle Brewer have secured Appeal Court acquittals for three women convicted of controlling prostitution who were themselves victims of human trafficking.

R v LM and others, Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), 21/10/2010

Counsel represented three young Romanian women whose convictions for controlling prostitution were quashed because the prosecution had continued to proceed against them even though it was accepted that they were victims of human trafficking. The Court of Appeal considered in detail the UK's obligations under the Council of Europe's Convention against Trafficking in Human Beings.

The case provides important guidance for both the prosecution and defence in cases where there is credible evidence that a suspect or defendant is a victim of human trafficking. It establishes when a duty to investigate whether a suspect has been trafficked arises and when a prosecution may be stayed as an abuse of process.

For the full judgment, click here.

Henry Blaxland QC is a member of the Garden Court Crime Team. Michelle Brewer is a member of the Immigration Team. The result demonstrates the benefits that Garden Court Chambers as a multi-disciplinary set are able to bring to complex cases involving multiple areas of law.

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