Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking: Where Are We Now? First In a Line of Events in 187 Chambers Seminar Series…

6 May 2022

In the first seminar presentation for 2022, solicitors and counsel were treated to useful presentations on the current state of play with respect to the law on modern slavery and human trafficking from two experts in the field. The seminar was introduced and moderated by Gideon Cammerman Q.C., who regularly appears in high profile cases including the early modern slavery cases.

Dr Andreas O’Shea outlined the international framework and gave insight into the case law of the European Court of Human Rights including the recent cases of Zoletic and Others v Azerbaijan and VCL v AN v United Kingdom. He outlined issues and the importance of interpreting the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in line with the international framework. The recent Court of Appeal case of R v AAD and the implications for consistency with the UK’s international obligations and the scope for future abuse applications to bring domestic law in line with international obligations were discussed. Dr O’Shea was counsel in the landmark case of R v M(K) when the Court of Appeal settled the principle that the legal burden remains on the Crown for all elements of the defence under section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Mr Robert Levack explained how the domestic law on the subject has developed to its current state. He examined the practical difficulties which arise out of the Court of Appeal decision in the case of R v Brecani and challenged the wisdom of that decision. Mr Levack outlined the limitations of abuse applications. He offered insight into how to confront the difficulties in providing building the evidence to support a section 45 defence.

Forthcoming seminars are expected on topics such as proceeds of crime, sentencing, firearms, international crime and immigration offences.