UK’s Supreme Court has handed down the judgement in the A & B v CICA case,  Philippa Southwell, Managing Director of Southwell & Partners, provided expert evidence on criminality linked to modern slavery exploitation.  

The case was concerned with compensation under the 2012 iteration of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS). The Supreme Court was asked to decide whether excluding A and B, who are victims of human trafficking, from compensation under the CICS unjustifiably discriminated against them, in breach of Article 14 taken with Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

The Court found that an automatic bar on seeking compensation is lawful if the applicant has unspent convictions, where there is no nexus between the crime committed and being trafficked.  

However, the court made no findings as a hypothetical situation where a person is a victim of forced criminality, has unspent conviction but has been unable to benefit from non-punishment provisions. This leaves open a way for arguments on the ground of nexus between conviction and trafficking.  

Please see the full judgment here.