Clause 252 - Functions of interim receiver

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 13 December 2001.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 4:00, 13 December 2001

This clause brings us to the functions of the interim receiver, and in particular, to such liability as he may attract for actions that he may carry out. It is noteworthy that subsection (3) states that if the interim receiver

''deals with any property which is not property to which the order applies, and . . . at the time he deals with the property he believes on reasonable grounds that he is entitled to do so in pursuance of the order'', he will not be personally liable

''in respect of any loss or damage resulting from his dealing with the property except so far as the loss or damage is caused by his negligence.''

That must be read in conjunction with clause 282 on compensation. It provides that someone may apply to the court for compensation if they have suffered loss as a result of the making of an interim order.

This is a probing amendment. I do not take great exception to subsection (3). It might be appropriate to provide protection for a receiver, but with regard to clauses 252 and 282, I need reassurance about the link-up and operation of the compensation mechanism.

If an interim receiver has been negligent, will the provisions of clause 282 not apply? To get compensation, instead of going to the court, will the interim receiver have to be sued? I have that in mind because when we discussed confiscation provisions, that appeared to be the case. I also need reassurance that when an interim receiver has made a mistake, anyone who has been affected will be able to claim compensation under clause 282. I think that that is the case, but I am not sure.

The two clauses are clearly linked, and it is important that there should be a compensation procedure. If someone is refused compensation under clause 282, can they still sue the receiver, if they think that he has been negligent, or is the one process mutually exclusive of the other?

Those are the key issues. I am unsure about them, and I do not find the clauses, particularly clause 282, easy to read. I seek clarification from the Minister, so that we can have a debate, if that is necessary.