MD & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department

Court of Appeal: Underhill VP, Asplin and Simler LJJ, [2022] EWCA Civ 336, 16 March 2022

The Court of Appeal allowed the respondent’s appeal from the decision of Kerr J (see previous post). The case concerned the financial support available under the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract to victims of sex trafficking from Albania who had sought asylum in the UK in respect of their dependent children. The respondent did not appeal the decision that there was a breach of the claimants’ ECHR rights but did appeal his award of damages under section 8 of the 1998 Act. The Court decided that the claimants had not in fact suffered any financial loss, this because they received the same amount of support as their selected comparators (victims of sex trafficking who were not also asylum seekers), albeit under a different route. (Kerr LJ had compared the treatment of the claimants to that of victims of trafficking who were entitled to receive mainstream benefits, and had found that they had been discriminated against by being excluded from an “unmerited windfall” which resulted from mistaken double payment in respect of children to those victims of trafficking who were entitled to mainstream benefits.) The Court cast doubt on Kerr J’s finding of discrimination (which was not appealed), and ruled that the Claimants were not entitled to any damages for the distress caused by any discrimination.

Claimants/ Respondents: Chris Buttler QC and Ayesha Christie (instructed by Simpson Millar and Deighton Peirce Glynn)

Defendants/ Appellants: Robin Tam QC and Jack Anderson, instructed by the Treasury Solicitor



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