Human Rights Claim Costs: False Imprisonment

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ARC Costs were recently instructed to assist in the recovery of legal costs for a human rights case against the Home Office which involved the false imprisonment of the Claimant.

 

Human Rights Claims

Human rights claims in the United Kingdom are primarily based on the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The HRA incorporated the ECHR into UK human rights law, allowing individuals to directly bring claims before domestic courts for violations of their human rights.

Individuals can take legal action against public functions, such as a local authority, if they believe their rights under the ECHR have been violated. These claims can be brought in various courts, including the County Court, High Court, and the UK’s highest court, the Supreme Court.

Some examples of human rights claims include:

Prohibition of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (Article 3):

  • A claim by a prisoner who has been subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment while in custody.
  • A claim by an individual alleging torture or ill-treatment by a public authority.

Right to Liberty and Security (Article 5):

  • A claim by a person who has been unlawfully detained or imprisoned.
  • A claim by an individual with mental health issues who has been detained without proper legal safeguards.

Right to Respect for Private and Family Life (Article 8):

  • A claim by a person whose personal data was improperly shared by a public authority, violating their right to privacy.
  • A claim by a family facing eviction from their home without proper legal process.

There are different funding options available for human rights claims; however, a large proportion of them will be funded by Legal Aid given that such claims often effect the most vulnerable in society.

 

Human Rights Claim Case Study: Case Background

The Claimant was a Vietnam national, who was sent to the United Kingdom in 2011 to find work. His family found an agent, who arranged travel for the cost of £10,000. When he arrived, he awaited the promised work, but nothing came; he was then homeless for around 6-7 months.

The Claimant later found a cleaning job, but Police later raided the house in which he was working and found Cannabis plants. He was then arrested, despite not being aware of the plants. He was sentenced to one year imprisonment, which he served, before returning to Vietnam.

Upon his return to Vietnam, the Claimant borrowed a large sum of money to buy some land, but he was scammed. In order to pay off this debt, he was forced into working for the individual he borrowed the money from. He was forced to carry Class A drugs between China and Vietnam.

The Claimant advised that he experienced physical punishment if he refused. When attempting to escape this situation, the Claimant was found, beaten, and held imprisoned for 4-5 months, enduring forced sexual abuse. He was then sent to work back in the United Kingdom.

The Claimant was detained under immigration powers from 13 October 2016 until 07 June 2017, and then from 07 March 2019 until 26 November 2019.

The Claimant challenged the lawfulness of his detention on the basis that the power to detain him was exercised unlawfully, and in breach of published policy.

As the Claimant was unlawfully deprived of his liberty, and thus falsely imprisoned, he was entitled to and claimed damages, included aggravated and exemplary damages, and for the just satisfaction under Section 7 and 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

The Claimant was identified as being a victim of trafficking, thus he could not be lawfully removed from the United Kingdom until and unless his trafficking status had been lawfully determined. This was exacerbated by the Claimant having a Rule 35(3) report identifying him as a victim of torture and a vulnerable adult at risk, unsuited to detention.

Unfortunately, the file was closed and the case concluded after the Client lost contact with the Solicitors in April 2021. ARC Costs were instructed to recover the Solicitors’ legal aid costs of the case.

 

Human Rights Claim Costs

The matter was funded under Legal Aid Certificate with a cost limitation of £14,500. As such, ARC Costs prepared and submitted a claim for costs to be assessed by the Legal Aid Agency using the CCMS system.

A 50% enhancement was claimed for all fee earners providing legal advice and assistance on this case to reflect the severity of the Claimant’s situation. The Client was identified as a victim of torture and trafficking, he was also described as a vulnerable ‘adult at risk’, who was unsuited to the detention he was held in.

The Client had served time in a British prison for drug production that he claimed was unrelated to him, that he was a victim of circumstance, after which he volunteered to go back to his home country, Vietnam. This return to Vietnam is what led to him being forced into drug trafficking.

The total amount claimed in the bill was in excess of £15,000 + VAT, and on assessment by the LAA on CCMS, the client was successful in recovering 100% of the certificate amount of £14,500 + VAT.

How can ARC costs Assist?

Our team of experienced Law Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers at ARC Costs regularly assist in all types of costs claims, including human rights claim costs and the recovery of legal aid costs. We work with both law firms and Litigants in Person with their costs recovery from the LAA.

Through our specialised cost assessment service, we assist clients in optimising their reclaimed legal expenses, all the while delivering proficient legal guidance and lessening the possibility of denied claims by the Legal Aid Agency.

We frequently employ the CCMS system for the submission of legal aid cost claims and manage all related administrative tasks on behalf of our clients. This approach not only releases fee earners from administrative burdens but also guarantees the swift and effective retrieval of your highest potential legal aid fees.

In successful civil disputes, we can also assist in the quantification and recovery of inter-partes costs, and conducting the detailed assessment process on your behalf.

To find out more about how we can provide you with assistance, please get in touch with us at 01204 397302 or email our team of experts at info@arccosts.co.uk. Alternatively, please use our free chat facility to speak to an expert directly.

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01204 397302

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