Clause 314 - Appeals

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:30 pm ar 15 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Ceidwadwyr, Surrey Heath 4:30, 15 Ionawr 2002

I am grateful to the Minister for his comments. The Bill is already very big, and I understand why he does not want to add much more to it. However, I was first called to the Bar in 1979, and during my career as a lawyer, and my—almost—10 years' service as a Member of Parliament, I have dealt with a lot of legislation. In my experience, most Bills describe the relevant appeal procedures; those are normally set out in full.

Therefore, the Bill under discussion is a special case. If a lay person—an accountant, for instance, who has not previously dealt with this area of law—were to read the Bill as it stands, he would get the impression that all he could do was appeal to the special commissioner, because there is no mention that he can go beyond that, on a point of law, to the High Court—and subsequently, if necessary, to the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords. As what we are discussing is a new procedure—an extension of the law, with new arrangements—if the appeal clauses were set out in the Bill, that would offer helpful guidance.

I have made my point, and the Minister has said that he will consider it, which I welcome. Although the clause stand part debate has been short, it has also been worth while, and I am sure that it will help to inform debate when the Bill passes to another place.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 314 ordered to stand part of the Bill.