On Monday 15 July, Birmingham-based public law director Ahmed Aydeed and caseworkers Karen Staunton and Harvey Slade attended a meeting of the Human Trafficking Foundation’s Advisory Forum, following their work on a recent successful judicial review challenge (NN and LP v Secretary of State for the Home Department) which led to the Home Office conceding that its policy to cease the support provided to victims of trafficking 45 days after they are conclusively identified was unlawful.
The Advisory Forum, hosted by Freshfields solicitors, brings together around 90 non-governmental organisations, service providers, and experts from across the anti-trafficking sector. The meeting was chaired by the Rt Hon Baroness Butler-Sloss, the UK’s first female Lord Justice of Appeal , who was last year commissioned alongside Frank Field MP and Maria Miller MP to undertake an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Speaking for the first time was Dame Sara Thornton, the new Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, as well as Miriam Minty, Head of the Modern Slavery Unit at the Home Office.
The new Commissioner spoke in relation to her four key priorities which she has outlined to 2021: improved support for victims; intelligent law enforcement; prevention; and best utilising research. Miram Minty spoke about the Government’s response to the Review of the Modern Slavery Act and fielded questions, including those in relation to the new needs-based support system being developed in light of the public law team’s judicial review.
Ahmed Aydeed was also asked to make an announcement on the Home Office’s concessions in NN and LP v Secretary of State for the Home Department, and was well received by the attendees, many of whom assisted by providing witness evidence in the judicial review challenge.
He highlighted how the Home Office accepted that their 45-day policy is incompatible with the Trafficking Convention, and that Article 12 of the Convention requires that support be provided in reference to an individual’s needs rather than by how long that individual has been supported.
Speaking, Ahmed explained that the Home Office has confirmed that it will develop a new needs-based system with input from experts in the sector although there is not yet further insight into what this will look like. Pending completion of this system, the Home Office will publish an interim policy making clear that trafficking support will not be restricted by reference only to the date of the conclusive grounds decision or the length of time for which such support has been provided. Additionally, the Home Office will not reapply the 45-day rule or reintroduce any provision which restricts support by reference to a date or length of time alone.
About Ahmed Aydeed
Ahmed is the director of public law at the Birmingham & Milton Keynes branches of Duncan Lewis Solicitors. He specialises in public and human rights law, predominantly acting for refugees, and trafficking and modern slavery victims in legally aided public law challenges. His core area of practice concerns administrative detention, international protection, and equality & discrimination. Ahmed has led key public law challenges against the administrative detention of refugees, torture and trafficking victims. He has also acted in leading cases on the Detained Fast Track rules, healthcare provisions in immigration detention, criminal injuries compensation and support and assistance for victims of human trafficking.
In 2018 Ahmed was shortlisted for Partner of the Year at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards and was ‘Highly Commended’ for Human Rights Lawyer of the Year at the 2018 Law Society Excellence Awards. In 2017 he won Junior Lawyer of the Year at the Law Society Excellence Awards.
To contact Ahmed, call 020 7275 2668 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Duncan Lewis Public Law Solicitors
The Duncan Lewis Public Law department continues to be recommended by Legal 500 with the 2019 edition reporting its 'strong presence in this area of the law, making a particularly dominant contribution in immigration, asylum and prison law.'
The Public law team has experience in all aspects of judicial review claimant work, including obtaining emergency orders and other interim relief to prevent breaches of human rights, following up judicial reviews with actions for damages in both the County and High Court and successfully pursuing judicial review matters to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. A particular focus is the team’s work handling cases of the deprivation of British citizenship and deportation threats, with a niche specialism in challenging the treatment of immigration detainees and other marginalised communities.
To contact a member of the public law team, call 033 3772 0409.