[2016] EWHC 786 (Admin) (12 April 2016) http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2016/786.html

BG was a victim of abuse, multiple rapes and enforced prostitution in Albania. She suffered from PTSD and major depression as a result. She fled to the UK and sought protection but was issued with a Dublin II certificate by which the SSHD sought to return her to Italy. Her trafficking case was referred into the UK’s NRM following a legal challenge and she was given a positive reasonable grounds decision but received a negative Conclusive Grounds decision, the SSHD finding she was a victim of ‘severe domestic violence’ at the hands of a ‘boyfriend’ rather than a victim of human trafficking who was forced into sexual exploitation by a trafficker. The SSHD maintained his decision to return her to Italy, thereby refusing her any substantive consideration of her asylum and human rights claims in the UK.

In judicial review proceedings it was argued on her behalf that in view of her accepted facts and the legal definition of human trafficking she ought to have been formally recognised by the SSHD as a confirmed victim of human trafficking and that she was also entitled to protection procedures as a consequence, including the quashing of the Dublin II certificate.

The judicial review was dismissed, the Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal and the case subsequently settled in favour of BG.

Of key significance, the SSHD agreed the appeal should be allowed by consent to the extent that, in view of BG’s accepted facts, Cranston J had been wrong to hold the SSHD had made a lawful or rational decision in finding that BG did not meet the trafficking definition under Article 4 of the Trafficking Convention. Furthermore, the SSHD agreed to consider BG’s asylum claim substantively in the UK. The Dublin II certificate was thereby withdrawn.

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