In February 2021, Parosha Chandran, barrister and Professor of Practice in Modern Slavery Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law, won a landmark judgement on human trafficking and the non-punishment principle in the ECHR - V.C.L. and A.N. v the United Kingdom.
The case centred on the practical application of the non-punishment principle in cases involving victims of trafficking and forced labour, with the ECRH ultimately ruling Britain had breached Article 4 and Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Read the full case story here.
On 6 July 2021, the ECHR rejected a request for a Grand Chamber review from the UK Government, meaning the courts judgement on 16 February 2021 is now a binding ruling on the UK and persuasive dicta on the 46 other Council of Europe Member States.
The ruling is the world’s first judgment by an international or regional court that concerns the non-punishment of victims of human trafficking, setting a new standard on the practical application of the non-punishment principle in cases involving victims of trafficking and modern slavery who have committed unlawful acts as a direct consequence of their trafficking, enslavement or exploitation for all jurisdictions globally.
It’s time for all States to get it right– Professor Parosha Chandran
Speaking on the judgement, Parosha Chandran said, “The crucial relevance of the case & its influence internationally is that it’s the world’s first judgment by an international or regional court that concerns the non-punishment of victims of human trafficking. It can be relied on in all jurisdictions as a tool to educate & influence police, prosecutors, lawyers & judges to adopt a victim-centric approach to identifying & distinguishing between trafficking victims & criminal offenders.”
A detailed case summary from Professor Chandran’s chambers, One Pump Court, can be read here.