Clause 307 - Granting interests

Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 10 January 2002.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 4:15, 10 January 2002

I beg to move amendment No. 473, in page 176, line 45, leave out subsection (2).

Here we go again, Mr. McWilliam. Clause 307(1) states:

''If a person grants an interest in his recoverable property, the question whether the interest is also recoverable is to be determined in the same manner as it is on any other disposal of recoverable property.''

That is a clear statement. However, the following subsection merely offers a further example of it, and, for the same reasons that I have previously raised, I ask the Minister whether it is necessary.

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

Clause 307 makes provision about the granting of interests in property. Subsection (2) sets out how interests in recoverable property are to be treated, both where the property is the original property obtained through unlawful conduct, and where it is representative property. The amendment would delete the subsection, thus removing the explanation of how interests in the original and representative property are to be treated.

Under clause 307, where a person grants an interest in recoverable property, the granting of the interest is to be regarded as a disposal of the property. The question whether the interest is recoverable is then to be determined in line with the provisions regarding disposal of recoverable property. Let us suppose, for example, that a person who has obtained a freehold house through the proceeds of unlawful conduct grants a tenancy of it. At the time the house was obtained, the tenancy did not exist. The tenancy cannot therefore be described as having been obtained through unlawful conduct, either by the landlord or the tenant, but it is intended to be as recoverable as the property itself.

Subsection (2)(a) sets out how the provision is to work when the property in which an interest is granted is the original property. It is to be treated as though it had been obtained through the same conduct. Subsection (2)(b) sets out how it will work when the property is representative property; the interest is to be treated as representative property. Subsection (2) therefore provides a valuable indication of how interests in recoverable property should be treated. That will assist the court by showing how the provisions under clause 307(1) are to be applied. For reasons that, as I am sure that the hon. Member for Beaconsfield anticipates, are similar to those that I gave previously, I invite him to withdraw the amendment.

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

I am grateful to the Minister for his explanation. I can see that the provision may be helpful in some way, and if he wants it in the Bill, so be it. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 307 ordered to stand part of the Bill.