SPC engaged for expert advice for Judicial Review

SPC are please to have received instructions to provide expert evidence and testimony for the purposes of a Judicial Review hearing challenging the UK Competent Authority in a case of trafficking for domestic servitude. The basis of the challenge is how the competent authority faces a conflict of interest in the cases involving non EU victims. In addition how the competent authority fails to follow best practice methods in dealing with and interviewing vulnerable victims. The case involves a woman trafficked repeatedly into three countries with her final destination being the UK. The evidence is clear with the 'Reasonable Grounds' decision being in her favour but the 'Competent Grounds' decision going against her. It is clear that if a victim is a non EU national there is a 70% chance of the Conclusive Grounds decision being denied than if a victim were an EU national. The research and implication is that the Home Office Competent Authority being the UKBA faces a conflict of interest in that their primary role is protecting borders and removing illegal immigrants when in fact they should be protecting victims. In the case the victim was interviewed without an official interpreter present, the forms used were adapted from and asylum application interviews, no video or audio recordings were made and no best practice interview techniques used. If the victim had been interviewed by UKHTC or the police ABE interviews would be conducted, investigative interview skills used and the outcome would most likely to have been positive for the victim. This work and the case presents a unique challenge to the authorities and how victims are treated.