21st December 2020
William Irwin, led by Sir James Eadie QC, represented the Home Secretary in the Court of Appeal in R(MN & IXU) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Aire Centre & Anti-Slavery International Intervening  EWCA Civ 1746. Judgment was handed down this morning.
The key point in the case concerned the standard of proof to be applied by the Home Secretary when making conclusive grounds decisions (i.e. conclusive decisions about whether a person is or is not a victim of human trafficking). On that point, the Court (Underhill VP, Baker & Simler LJJ) found for the Home Secretary, holding that it was lawful for her to apply the civil standard of proof when taking conclusive grounds decisions. The Court rejected the Appellants’ and the Interveners’ contention that relevant international instruments directed that a lower standard of proof should be applied at conclusive grounds stage.
The Appellants’ appeals were allowed on other, case-specific grounds.