Clause 346 - Disclosure orders

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:30 pm ar 29 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 4:30, 29 Ionawr 2002

This has been an interesting discussion, especially now I realise that the provision has a Northern Ireland derivation. Northern Ireland is perhaps not the best place to go to find well drafted legislation, usually because legislation has been drafted on the basis of wanting to suppress terrorism, which is understandable, but sometimes leads to infelicities of wording.

As the Minister says, ''at once'' does not actually mean at once. The rules would be drafted so as to allow people the necessary time, which is exactly what I expected the Minister to say—so I wonder whether the phrase ''at once'' is necessary at all. As the Minister suggested that he would consult his officials, I

am not minded to press the amendment to a Division, but I hope that in doing so he will find out whether happier drafting might be arrived at, which would provide all the powers that he wants without including rather stentorian commands that the provision does not really mean. Once that drafting is in the statute, at some point someone will say, ''Either you answer this moment, immediately, or you are for the high jump.'' That is simply undesirable.