Bartfields Forensic Accountants on 1st June reported that it is perhaps surprising and a little troubling to find in 2018 the UK Supreme Court split 3 – 2 on the application of confiscation legislation which is 15 years old.  The issue was a simple one – but its resolution involved consideration of some fundamental principles of statutory interpretation. When it came to confiscation the prosecution wished to proceed under Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 rather than Criminal Justice Act 1988 confiscation provisions – but should they be permitted to do so?  That was the issue the Supreme Court was tasked to determine. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 confiscation provisions apply to offences committed after 23rd March 2003. The prosecution had sought to disregard for each defendant the offence committed before 24th March 2003, relying in each case on the benefit from only the 3 later offences and did not seek to invoke the ‘criminal lifestyle’ assumptions against the defendants.  The prosecution won the day and it is now undeniable that the prosecution may opt, in confiscation proceedings, to entirely disregard offences committed before 24th March 2003 in order to proceed under PoCA 2002.


Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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