Clause 2 - Meaning of ''tainted cultural object''

Part of Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:47 pm on 14th May 2003.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 3:47 pm, 14th May 2003

I am grateful again to the Minister and to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam for giving greater definition to what they do not see as being brought within the scope of the Bill. However, I still have my doubts. The cases to which I alluded show the dichotomy in relation to the application of some of the past definitions.

There is also the problem of the way in which the definitions in the law of countries overseas would apply in this country. It is my understanding—I am sure that the Minister would agree—that if an especially draconian set of laws defining what constitutes part of a building were brought into force in another country and tainted goods from there ended up in the UK, the UK definition of the building or structure would apply, rather than the definition applied by that other country. That is an important point because we can argue long and hard about the way that definitions should apply to the UK, but we are talking about objects that might have originated overseas, where legislation may be different.