Immigration FTT relies on Trafficking JR and grants asylum to victim of trafficking

24 September 2015

The Immigration First Tier Tribunal yesterday relied expressly on a recent trafficking judicial review in finding an Albanian woman a Victim of Trafficking (VOT), granting asylum. Garden Court North Chambers’ Lucy Mair yesterday represented the Appellant who had previously received a negative conclusive grounds decision from the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) on the basis that her account was not considered plausible or consistent. The Appellant asked the tribunal to decide for itself whether she was a VOT, on the basis of AS (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 1469.

The Appellant argued that the NRM’s decision was unlawful and relied upon the case of R (on the application of AB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) [2015] EWHC 1490 (Admin), where the Admin Court held that there was an unlawful failure to engage with the findings of a report from trafficking support Organisation Ashiana. The Appellant in the instant case also relied upon an Ashiana report which concluded that she had been trafficked to the UK and on medical evidence diagnosing her with complex PTSD and a depressive adjustment disorder and found her account of events to be consistent with her clinical presentation.

The judge relied extensively on the case of AB in her determination and quoted from the judgment at para 40:

The opinions of experienced and respected support Organisations who have worked with potentially trafficked persons for some time are likely to provide important assistance to a decision maker in coming to his/her conclusions.”

The judge stated: “I take into account that the reports were not considered and therefore in line with R (on the application of AB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 1490. I am satisfied that the Respondent has not therefore made a lawful decision as she had failed to take into account her own policies in relation to obtaining and considering evidence.”

Ultimately the first tier tribunal judge found that the conclusive grounds decision was unlawful, that the Appellant was a VOT and allowed her asylum and human rights claim.

Lucy Mair also acted for the Claimant AB in the above cited case. She was instructed by Carita Thomas, formerly of Howells, and now of ATLEU .

Background

27th May 2015 – Unlawful for Home Office to ignore expert evidence in trafficking decisions – Lucy Mair guest commentary on R (on the application of AB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 1490 for Free Movement Blog.

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