Clause 349 - Statements

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 5:45 pm ar 29 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol, Lewes 5:45, 29 Ionawr 2002

I beg to move amendment No. 553, in page 202, line 16, leave out paragraph (d).

I refer to the explanatory notes, which recognise that

As part of the Government's response to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Saunders v. UK, Schedule 3 to the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 amended a number of compulsory disclosure powers in order to prevent a statement obtained under compulsion from a person from being used to incriminate him.

That is a sensible safeguard, and it is right to include it in the Bill. I tabled this probing amendment because I had been contacted by Liberty, as other Members may have been. The organisation appears to think that this is not a good safeguard. In particular, Liberty takes the view that

the use of answers in the circumstances contemplated by paragraph (d) would open a defendant up to a risk of being convicted on the basis of forced self-incrimination.

Liberty says that subsection (2)(d)

does away with any protections that the rest of clause 349—

including subsection (1), which is very clear—

might seek to give to a respondent.

Liberty also says that, if enacted, the measure

would expose the Government to a finding of a violation of Article 6(2)

of the European convention on human rights.