Clause 110 - Order made: reconsideration of

Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 6 December 2001.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 11:15, 6 December 2001

I beg to move amendment No. 190, in page 67, line 33, leave out 'an amount not exceeding'.

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

I assume that the Minister is right to move the amendment. It takes the Committee back to similar points that were raised by the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland.

My mind might be getting befogged by looking at too many clauses, but is it not the case that, under the England and Wales part, it was still possible for the confiscation order to be an amount ''not exceeding'', rather than having to be exactly that amount? Are we not in danger of getting rid of even the England and Wales discretion, or have I misunderstood the position, or is my recollection at fault? I do not see that it is necessary to get rid of those words to bring the provisions north and south of the border in line, but I might be wrong about that. It strikes me that this is taking things too far.

Photo of David Wilshire David Wilshire Conservative, Spelthorne

My hon. Friend has raised a valid point. I do not see the objections to discretion within a mandatory system—which the system now is, although I accept the Ministers comments. The system is mandatory in Scotland, as well as in England. We have debated that. I raised the point about an amount ''not exceeding''. Why does this discretion need to go beyond what—or so I thought—is the English situation?

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I assure hon. Members that we are not going any further than the English system. This may be complicated because of the amount of amendments, but we are bringing the Scottish provisions in line with English provisions. We do not intend to move further towards a mandatory system in Scotland than in England. We have flagged up those passages of part 3 that differ from the English system, and subsection (1) is not one of them. I assure the hon. Gentleman that that is the case.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 191, in page 68, line 7, leave out 'unless the order has' and insert 'and has not'.

No. 192, in page 68, line 10, at end insert—

'(c) any order which has been made against him in respect of the offence (or any of the offences) concerned under section 249 of the Procedure Act.'.

No. 193, in page 68, line 10, at end insert—

'(4A) But in deciding what is just the court must not have regard to an order falling within subsection (4)(c) if a court has made a direction under section 100(6).'.—[Mr. Ainsworth.]

Clause 110, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.