County lines and child criminal exploitation: a critical examination of s 45(4) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

Mennim, Sean (2022) County lines and child criminal exploitation: a critical examination of s 45(4) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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A plethora of academic commentary followed the enactment of s 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015). The existing analysis mainly focuses on the statutory defence as applicable to adults. Whilst reform options have been advanced for s 45(1), there has been limited consideration in respect of the statutory defence under s 45(4) as it applies to children whose offending is driven by their involvement in county lines. This thesis will propose that s 45(4) is not fit for purpose. It will be argued that s 45(4) provision fails to afford child victims of county lines (as well as other forms of exploitation) a robust defence and is insufficiently nuanced to adapt to future developments in trafficking offences. This submission has originated from a critical examination of the interpretation and application of s 45(4) and trafficking legislation that has emerged in other jurisdictions. The overriding objective of this thesis is to contribute to the existing literature in this area by providing a critical review of s 45(4) and advancing original legislative and policy recommendations designed to address the gaps in legal protection for child victims of exploitation, strengthen recognition of the links between children’s victimisation and criminalisation, and deter inappropriate prosecutions. Each chapter makes its own contribution for supporting the legislative and prosecutorial recommendations advanced.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M100 Law by area
M200 Law by Topic
M900 Other in Law
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2022 10:36
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2022 10:45

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