Mon - Fri 08.30 - 18.00
Second Floor Goldsmith Building Temple London EC4Y 7BL
Tel: +44 020 7936 3637
Fax: +44 020 7583 2061
DX 458 London Chancery Lane
Chambers provides an out of hours service. If you call Chambers main number you will be diverted to the clerk on call who will be able to deal with your enquiry.
Modern Slavery Act 2015
The introduction of this consolidating act is to be welcomed. As with all recent changes to criminal legislation over the past 20 years it is also accompanied with an increase in the length of sentence a defendant can expect to receive if convicted. In this case if you are convicted under section 1 (holding a person in slavery or servitude or requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour) or section 2 (arranging or facilitating the travel of another with a view to them being exploited) then the court could impose a life sentence. Previously the maximum you could receive was 14 years in custody.
A further offence under section 4 (committing an offence with an intention of committing an offence under the above section 2) which is designed to deal with those criminally involved in the early stages of assisting human traffickers, will see offenders facing a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Confiscation and Reparation orders are included as part of the punishment for those convicted. It is only right that victims should be paid compensation by those who have in many cases benefitted financially from the exploitation of their vulnerable victims. In some cases this may include as a starting point simply adding up the wages victims should have been paid for the years of unpaid work they have carried out. As counsel involved in such a case in Cardiff in 2014, the victim was in the charge of the defendants for 13 years! Such orders will of course be on top of any prison sentence imposed.
Prevention and Risk orders are included as part of the arsenal of legislative powers designed to combat this type of criminality. Under section 14 of the new act such an order may be imposed if there is “a risk” that the defendant “may” commit a slavery or human trafficking offence. The order simply prohibits the defendant from doing anything described in the order. Such a prohibition on activity may include a prohibition on foreign travel, although section 18 limits such a prohibition to a maximum of 5 years. As the imposition of this type of order would usually fall for consideration following a conviction under the new act, the “risk” threshold may have already been met as a result of that very conviction. A breach of such orders could result in a five year prison sentence.
Interestingly at section 40 the act refers to the appointment of The Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner, who is to encourage good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of slavery and human trafficking offences. It is no doubt hoped that with the appointment of such a commissioner that the prosecution of such offending will be more co-ordinated and focused than it has been in the past and that a nationwide standard approach can be adopted in relation to how victims are treated. Part of the difficulty in prosecuting such cases is that the victims are often not inclined to appreciate the fact that they have been exploited. Elements of “Stockholm syndrome” may come into play as indeed may a genuine fear for loved ones not in the UK being impacted negatively as a result of a victim giving evidence against those who have exploited them.
The act also provides for the provision of civil legal aid funding for victims to apply for leave to remain in the UK, to make a claim under relevant employment law or simply to claim for damages.
Under section 52 Public Authorities will be obliged to notify the Secretary of State if they have reasonable grounds for believing a person may be the victim of slavery or human trafficking. This should address the issue of councils or other authorities coming across evidence of such exploitation and not knowing if it is their job to do anything about it. Hopefully now a protocol can be put in place to assist with this new obligation to notify the Secretary of State.
Finally of note, as far as this author is concerned is section 54, which is titled “Transparency in supply chains etc”. Under this section, commercial organisations of a certain size that operate in the UK will have to prepare an annual “slavery and human trafficking statement” for that particular organisation. It is to be assumed that Parliament is putting the onus on commercial enterprises to take positive steps to make certain enquiries within their own organisation and indeed through their suppliers that they applied due diligence to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place. Due diligence is of course a concept familiar to many organisations and time will tell how effective this compliance obligation is in rooting out and discouraging the abuse of these exploited individuals.
Church Court Chambers, LONDON.
……“the consequences of the infringement of the procedural rules about contempt proceedings may be just as serious... more
R (on the application of Miller) (Appellant) v The Prime Minister (Respondent) Cherry and others (Respondents) v Advocate General... more
Over the past week, Lewis Power QC has been representing the Church Court International Law Team across the pond. Mr. Power QC... more
Lincoln’s Inn Barrister Still Missing Despite the Promises of Foreign Adviser Gowher Rizvi to Assist after Al Jazeera Head to... more
Yasin Patel and Amy Hazlewood look at one of the most important pieces of legislation passed in recent years. One that is looking... more
As October 31st 2019 draws nearer, Britain’s exit from the European Union and its exact terms become all the more important. ... more
The Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 (the Act), was designed to create a statutory offence, facilitating the... more
Yasin Patel and Amy Hazlewood look at the area of drill music and the law. This article is split into two parts: the first part... more
Yasin Patel looks at the question of “racism in football”. In this two part series, the first article outlines the arguments... more
In this article, written by Yasin Patel and Amy Hazlewood, we look at the areas of drugs, and in particular ‘county lines’... more
The British government and its agencies powers of investigation will increase significantly with a new piece of legislation.... more
Since the downfall of ISIS and the liberation of many Syrian people, women and children (and whole families) have been fleeing to... more
Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion. What is the difference? One is illegal and one is smart tax planning. But which is which? Local... more
Yasin Patel and Amy Hazlewood explore the problems surrounding drones, from their use in humanitarian activities to drugs being... more
Yasin Patel looks at the growing area of ‘Image Rights’ and why it makes sense for a sports star to protect their ‘image... more
The case of Zamira Hajiyeva and the Unexplained Wealth Order “UWO” restrictions imposed upon her have brought to... more
New Law Journal publishes article by George Hepburne Scott regarding the recent ground breaking High Court case regarding prison... more
New Law Journal publishes an article by George Hepburne Scott regarding changes to the judiciary in Poland. George Hepburne Scott... more
‘Suck my d**k, you n****r, you n***o’ Offended by the title. And so you should be, but what are you going to do about it?... more
Please follow link below to read George Hepburne Scotts article on extradition published in the New Law Journal.... more
The Situation before the Human Rights Act In the traditional doctrine of statutory interpretation, the courts looked at the... more
The new Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015; it is clear that corporate compliance... more
The Court of Appeal in the case of Griffiths 1 QB 589, made an apposite observation concerning a growing trend towards indicting... more
On 23 June 2016 over 33 million people voted in the EU referendum. Since that date there has been widespread anger from those who... more
Alkan Shenyuz is a barrister with Church Court Chambers specialising in international commercial law and in this article for... more
Leading legal publisher Westlaw has published Michael Polak’s article on INTERPOL notices. INTERPOL notices can severely... more
Alkan Shenyuz, a barrister and specialist in banking and financial services looks at the new EU Payment Services Directive and... more
In a clear sign that regulators want to open up competition in the UK banking industry to new banks, the Prudential Regulatory... more
In R (on the application of DC and The Secretary of State for Justice EWHC 33 (Admin) the High Court considered the law of... more
Whilst it would be naïve to suggest that ‘marriages of convenience’ do not occur, the Home Office seem to me to be using... more
Anthony assisted partners in Peters & Peters LLP in providing an expert summary of the laws and regulations which have been... more
Looted antiquities from Syria – what collectors need to know Alkan Shenyuz, barrister with Church Court Chambers discusses what... more
Modern Slavery Act 2015 The introduction of this consolidating act is to be welcomed. As with all recent changes to criminal... more
Alkan Shenyuz, a barrister with Church Court Chambers in London and a specialist in international law, summarises the key legal... more
The Government’s announcement in June that it is to bring forward legislation in Parliament to ratify the Hague Convention on... more
An interesting and insightful article from Lesley Manley of Church Court Chambers on mental impaired clients. It is often helpful... more