On 1st December, 6KBW College Hill published an article saying that, in the UK, the state now has power to forfeit, in civil recovery proceedings, the proceeds of conduct taking place overseas which “constitutes” or is “connected with” a gross human rights abuse (GHRA) or violation. While this might appear to mean that there could be recovery orders against banks and those that unwittingly profit from GHRA, the article stresses that, for property to be recoverable as the proceeds of crime it is still necessary to show that it was obtained through “unlawful conduct”, and that this would require proof that the conduct “connected with” the GHRA (through which property is obtained) would, if it had taken place in the UK, have involved the commission of a criminal offence. To prove such an offence would always (it appears invariably) require the prosecutor to prove knowledge of the GHRA. The article looks at the relevant provision in POCA 2002 and considers what is really the likely legal position.
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