Negative trafficking decision quashed by High Court

Monday 1 July 2024

Taimour Lay of the Garden Court Immigration and Public Law Teams represented a child victim of trafficking who challenged a negative Reasonable Grounds evaluation.

Taimour was instructed by Louise Crouch of BHT Sussex.

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The High Court has found that the Home Office acted unlawfully in its consideration of the Claimant’s account of being trafficked: SM, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2024] EWHC 1683 (Admin).

The case turned on whether there was a credible suspicion that the Claimant had been manipulated into a debt for the purpose of future exploitation - in circumstances in which the child had escaped his home country before suffering any further planned harm. The Court emphasised the centrality of the statutory guidance issued under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and stressed that “a high quality of reasoning is required in a Reasonable Grounds Decision [ …] due to the importance of the decision as a potential gateway to important rights including the right to a Conclusive Grounds Decision”.

The judgment is available here.

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