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July 18th 2018

Criminal Injuries

Twin victims of slavery denied compensation because of previous convictions

Malcolm Johnson

Malcolm Johnson

Senior Solicitor, Abuse

Twin victims of slavery denied compensation because of previous convictions

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme won’t pay out if an Applicant has serious criminal convictions. This rule is contained in Paragraph 26 and Annex D of the current 2012 Scheme.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme won’t pay out if an Applicant has serious criminal convictions. This rule is contained in Paragraph 26 and Annex D of the current 2012 Scheme.

What about victims of slavery? In 2013, twin brothers from Lithuania were trafficked into the UK and put to work as slaves. They were later rescued, and they made an application to the CICA for compensation.

The CICA said no to their application, because one had been convicted of burglary in Lithuania before he came to the UK and the other twin had been convicted of theft, again in Lithuania. Both had been sentenced to custodial sentences.

The twins tried to argue that because they were victims of trafficking, their criminal convictions should not be held against them. They applied to the courts for a judicial review of the CICA’s decision. The judge turned them down, and so they went to the Court of Appeal. Their case was reported in A and B v CICA and Secretary of State for Justice [2018] EWCA Civ 1534.

Lawyers for the twins argued that the CICA Scheme and its rules on previous convictions breached their human rights. In addition, the Scheme contravened a European Union Directive, which directed member states to afford special protection to victims of trafficking.

Lord Justice Gross in the Court of Appeal said that the CICA Scheme did provide for victims of trafficking who had been forced to commit crimes, during the time that they were being enslaved.

However, the twins’ crimes had been committed before they had been trafficked. The CICA Scheme provided that people who committed serious crimes could not get compensation. That was the law for everyone and there was no breach of human rights.

The twins’ appeal was dismissed.

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