Clause 104 - Statement of information

Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 6 December 2001.

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Amendments made: No. 161, in page 62, line 12, after '(2)', insert

'—

(a)'.

No. 162, in clause 104, page 62, line 13, at end insert—

'(b) must, if the prosecutor believes there would be a serious risk of injustice if a required assumption were made, include information he believes is relevant in connection with deciding whether it should not be made.'.—[Mr. Foulkes.]

Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes Minister of State, Scottish Office, Minister of State (Scotland Office)

I beg to move amendment No. 163, in page 62, line 20, after 'information', insert

'—

(a)'.

Photo of Mr Bill O'Brien Mr Bill O'Brien Labour, Normanton

With this it will be convenient to take the following: Government amendments Nos. 164 and 165.

Clause stand part.

Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes Minister of State, Scottish Office, Minister of State (Scotland Office)

Amendment No. 163 is a paving amendment. Amendment No. 164 is designed to ensure that the court will always have before it an up-to-date statement of the prosecutor's position. It places a requirement on the prosecutor to give the court a further statement of information if the court orders him to do so, and within the period that the court orders. Amendment No. 165 is a purely drafting amendment to delete superfluous subsections (6) to (9) of clause 104, as the provisions are already contained in clause 99(6) to (9).

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

This is a small point. The Minister will remember that when we were discussing the procedure in respect of England and Wales, the Opposition expressed slight concern about the duties appearing to be to supply information to the court and not necessarily to the defendant and vice versa. We had some disagreement on that. I am not familiar with what one would expect in relation to Scots procedure, which is why I am so cautious, but I would like reassurance that the provision of supplying information to the court also includes supplying information to the other party, and does not need to be spelled out expressly.

Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes Minister of State, Scottish Office, Minister of State (Scotland Office)

I cannot immediately answer that question, but I shall undertake to do so. I understand that the hon. Gentleman is right. If I am wrong about that, I shall let him know. However, without a brief—

Photo of David Wilshire David Wilshire Conservative, Spelthorne

I am always nervous when Ministers are without briefs. On this occasion, however, the Minister appears to have found a copy.

Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes Minister of State, Scottish Office, Minister of State (Scotland Office)

I assure the hon. Gentlemen that the prosecutor's statement will always be given to the accused.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 164, in page 62, line 21, at end insert—

'(b) he must give the court a further statement of information if it orders him to do so, and he must give it within the period the court orders'.

No. 165, in page 62, line 22, leave out subsections (6) to (9).—[Mr. Foulkes.]

Clause 104, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.