The judgment in V.C.L. and A.N. v. United Kingdom (nos. 77587/12 and 74603/12) made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 16th February 2021, is final as of 5th July 2021. This follows the request made by the UK Government that the case be referred to the ECtHR Grand Chamber and the Court’s refusal to do so.  

VCL and AN v UK was a landmark case in which the ECtHR found a failure to adequately protect potential victims of child trafficking. The judgment found, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 4 (prohibition of forced labour) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial). 

Philippa Southwell,  manging  director of Southwell and Partners  VCL in both domestic proceedings and in his application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.  As part of VCL’s legal team also instructed were Henry Blaxland QC, Emma Fitzsimons and Stephen Clark of Garden Court Chambers alongside Michelle Brewer, a former tenant who left Chambers to become a First-Tier Tribunal judge in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.   

For the full judgment please see here, and the confirmation of the rejection for referral to the Grand Chamber please see here.