Clause 16 - Slavery and trafficking prevention orders on application

Part of Modern Slavery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:45 pm ar 9 Medi 2014.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 2:45, 9 Medi 2014

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman and other hon. Members for tabling the amendments and providing the opportunity to discuss the standard of proof required to impose a slavery and trafficking prevention or risk order, or an interim order. The purpose of those orders is to ensure that law enforcement bodies and the courts have appropriate powers to restrict the behaviour of persons who are likely to commit a slavery and trafficking offence. Although the protection of potential victims is paramount, we are also conscious of the fact that orders must be necessary and proportionate in their interference with a defendant’s personal life. We believe that we have already built in effective safeguards to ensure that the orders will be used only in appropriate circumstances. When a court considers whether to impose an order, it must be satisfied of the necessity of that order.

The amendments suggest that a court should be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, which is the standard of proof in criminal courts. Although the orders will be obtained through civil proceedings, the Government accept that that threshold will be akin to the criminal standard in line with relevant case law. We can go through that, if Members of the Committee wish to do so. The amendments are not needed, because the clause already meets the evidential threshold that hon. Members seek to include. Given that assurance, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will withdraw amendment 76.