Clause 7 - Confiscation of assets

Part of Modern Slavery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 9 September 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Stunell Andrew Stunell Liberal Democrat, Hazel Grove 10:15, 9 September 2014

I support the provision as drafted, because it will give some encouragement to victims who are considering whether they are able to give statements. They would know that if they did give statements and a  conviction was secured, they would be eligible for reparation. That perhaps connects back to the point the Minister made about “shall”, “may”, “if” and “must”—I admit that every time I hear a discussion in this place about the interaction of those words, I leave slightly more confused than I started.

It would be helpful if the Minister indicated how the guidelines would address that and the interaction between that and what the CPS might do. I can see the situation that was suggested of 25 victims but only 12 going to court. It might be the CPS that chose which 12 go to court, not the victims. There might be an element of discrimination as a result of more offences not being brought to the court’s attention for some legal, utility purpose. Will the Minister take that away and give some thought to the idea?