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 Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 5:45, 29 Ionawr 2002

The Minister may remember that we had a similar discussion on an earlier clause. I reminded him then that other confidential communications—for instance, signed statements relating to a person's finances—cannot be used as material for cross-examination in a trial, although they appear to show that the statement being made is inconsistent with the previous one. Giving Saunders v. UK its entire force, I would rather have thought that the statement made under compulsion was exactly that, and that it was completely neutralised as an argument. Indeed, it should be completely neutralised for all other purposes.

I wonder why the Government think it right to do that, although I understand the point that the Minister is trying to make. It seems somehow to offend against common sense, but it is also rather offensive to normal judicial principles that someone should have to answer those questions under compulsion in the first place.