On 9 December 2014, the Court of Appeal of Paris (France) convicted the defendants of migrant smuggling as well as concealed work and employing workers without a work permit. Victims constituted themselves civil parties in the proceedings against the defendants. The Court of Appeal convicted the defendants to the payment of 3000 Euro in compensation to X. and 9000 Euro in compensation to Y. The civil parties appealed the legal qualification of the facts and the amount of compensation.
Specifically, the civil parties requested the legal requalification of the facts into trafficking in human beings, aggravated by (i) having been committed against several individuals, (ii) taking advantage of persons in a situation of dependence and vulnerability, (iii) submitting the victims to inhuman and degrading conditions. They further asked the increase of the compensation amount, notably 15 000 Euro to Y. and 10 000 Euro to X. The appeal was based on inter alia domestic legal provisions, Articles 4, 6, 7 and 13 European Convention on Human Rights, International Labour Organisation Forced Labour Convention of 28 June 1930. They argued that by refusing the requalification of the facts on grounds that the constitutive elements of “trafficking in human beings” differ from the facts deemed proved by the judge for preliminary investigations, the Court had made an error in law.
Against this background, the Court of Cassation was seized only in respect of the torts law determinations issued in the course of the criminal judgment.