Section 2

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Corporate criminal liability Criminal liability Human trafficking

Section 2 delimits the scope of application of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Scotland Act. This article provides that UK nationals, persons who at the time of the offence were habitually resident in Scotland, and companies incorporated under the law of a part of the United Kingdom, will be liable under the Act regardless of where the relavant action took place (in the United Kingdom or elsewhere).

Moreover, all other persons (non UK-nationals who are not resident in Scotland, and bodies incorporated under foreign laws) will be liable under this Act insofar as any part of the relevant action takes place in the United Kingdom, or the relevant action is taken with a view to a person arriving in or entering into, departing from, or travelling within, the United Kingdom.

Notes

Significantly, this section establishes the extraterritorial application of the Scottish Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act for UK nationals, corporations registered in the UK and Scottish residents. This provision is crucial, as it provides the basis for the accountability of Scottish residents, but also UK citizens and corporations registered in the UK for human trafficking offences committed abroad.

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Section 2. Application of offence to conduct in United Kingdom and elsewhere

(1)A person mentioned in subsection (2) commits an offence of human trafficking regardless of where the relevant action takes place.

(2)The persons are—

(a) a person who is a UK national,

(b) a person who at the time of the offence was habitually resident in Scotland,

(c) a body incorporated under the law of a part of the United Kingdom.

(3) A person not mentioned in subsection (2) commits an offence of human trafficking if—

(a) any part of the relevant action takes place in the United Kingdom, or

(b) the relevant action is taken with a view to a person arriving in or entering into, departing from, or travelling within, the United Kingdom.

Law / 4 November 2015 / United Kingdom / Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act

The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act received royal asent on the 4th November 2015.

This Scottish legislation  is part of a movement to consolidate and strengthen the laws addressing human trafficking, forced labour, slavery and servitude in the UK. As part of this process, legislation was adopted across the UK, in Northern Ireland (Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act ), Scotland (Human Trafficking and Exploitation  Act), and England and Wales (Modern Slavery Act).

The definition of human trafficking in this Act, however,  differs from the Modern Slavery Act definition in that it does not require movement (i.e. the arranging or facitlitation of travel), nor does it require the presence of specific ‘means’ for the fulfilment of the offence of human trafficking in Scotland. The acts of recruiting, transporting, harbouring or transfering control over another person, as well as the facilitation of these acts, constitute a human trafficking offense in Scotland, when committed with the purpose of exploitation.