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Clause 94 - Making of order

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 6th December 2001.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 10:00 am, 6th December 2001

I appreciate that the Government are trying to bring the Scottish regime in line with that south of the border, so I do not wish to discuss that principle. However, the amendment raises a slightly different issue about tests and the civil standard of proof.

I am not an expert in Scots law and defer to the hon. Members who are, but before we rubber-stamp the amendment, the Committee should know a little more about whether ''balance of probabilities'' is a phrase in common use in Scotland. Does the Minister think that the change of wording will have the same effect as the amendment to the English version, which we have discussed? He may remember that we had strong views on the subject, and I believe that the civil standard, not the balance of probabilities, is the correct test. I should like to hear more from him on that point.