This is one of many examples of claims where we act for the client in two, simultaneous judicial review claims against the Home Office. This claim concerned a challenge to (i) the conclusive grounds decision to reject RP’sclaim to be a genuine victim of trafficking and (ii) the decision to certify, as ‘clearly unfounded’, the refusal of her initial claim for asylum pursuant to s 94 Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

RP was a national of Albania. She claimed that she had been trafficked to the UK and subjected to sexual exploitation. Her initial trafficking claim was refused on the basis of her credibility. A request was made by Ashiana, a specialist charitable organisation supporting Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery, for this decision to be reconsidered. In support of this a report was provided by Ashiana as well as multiple letters from other organisations involved with the client. Although the Home Office agreed to reconsider RP’s trafficking claim, it again rejected the same. In the absence of any right of appeal against such decisions, the only option was to challenge this by way of judicial review.

A challenge was brought arguing that the Home Office, in again rejecting her trafficking claim, failed to consider, at all, any of the supporting evidence submitted and, as such, failed to give proper scrutiny to her case.

At the same time as refusing her trafficking claim, the Home Office also refused RP’s initial claim for asylum and certified this as clearly unfounded on the basis that it could not, on any legitimate view, succeed. The effect of the certificate was to deny RP the right to appeal the refusal of her asylum claim in-country. In order to appeal this, she would, first, have to return to Albania, the country from which she feared she was at risk of treatment amounting to persecution.

Erica assisted the client in challenging this decision by way of judicial review. It was argued in the claim that the Home Office had applied the wrong legal test for certifying the claim, failed to provide sufficient reasons for its decision and failed to consider the case law and objective country evidence when determining that the claim was one which should be certified.

After we issued proceedings for judicial review with the Court in relation to both decisions, the Home Office reviewed the same and decided to concede the claims. The result was for both decisions to be withdrawn with an agreement that the claims would be considered afresh and new decisions made.

It is now the case that RP has been recognised to be a genuine victim of trafficking and, although her asylum claim was again refused, it was not certified meaning she has now been afforded the right to appeal that decision to the First-tier Tribunal whilst remaining in the UK.