Philippa Southwell represented two of the applicants in the specially convened victims of human trafficking court, AAD, AAH and AAI [2022] EWCA Crim 106. AAD and others was a special court presided by LJ Fulford sitting with Mr Justice Knowles and Sir Nigel Davis. This is an important case concerning victims of human trafficking and modern slavery which has given much needed guidance to practitioners concerning this aspect of law. The court upheld Brecani where SCA decision-makers were held not to be expert. Brecani dealt with admissibility of the SCA decisions at trial. Further guidance on examples of expert evidence which is admissible at trial includes psychological and psychiatric evidence, and trafficking reports concerning Modus Operandi of trafficking gangs.

It confirms it is still possible to argue an abuse of process in some cases where victims have been prosecuted.

A victim of trafficking can argue that a conviction post entering a guilty plea is unsafe. The categories in which it can be argued are the following:

• equivocal guilty plea entered with improper pressure or erroneous legal advice which deprived the defendant of a possible defence which quite probably would have succeeded;
• the prosecution would have stayed on the grounds that it would be offensive to justice to bring the individual to trial; or
• that it has been established that the defendant did not commit the offence.

Southwell and Partners specialises in defending victims of human trafficking. If you would like any further advice on modern slavery cases, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Francis FitzGibbon QC and Felicity Gerry QC were instructed by Ms Philippa Southwell.