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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 447: Interpretation

599.Section 447(2) makes an external order, which is made in relation to the recovery of the proceeds of crime, enforceable in the United Kingdom regardless of the form it takes. It could be an order made against a person (an “in personam” order) or an order made against property (an “in rem” order, as in civil forfeiture proceedings in the USA). It could be a forfeiture order (an order changing the title of property), an order to a person to pay a sum of money or some other kind of order.

600.The external order must have been made by an overseas court (as defined by subsection (10)). It is immaterial what kind of court proceedings the external order is made in. It could be made in criminal proceedings, civil proceedings or some other court proceedings. However, non-court orders such as “administrative” confiscation orders made by police officers and similar authorities are excluded from this scheme.

601.An external order is defined as being for the recovery of specified property or a specified sum of money (subsection (2)(b)). This will enable external orders to be enforced, whether they are orders for the recovery of particular tainted property or orders for specified sums of money that may be satisfied out of any property, legally or illegally obtained.

602.Subsection (11) defines “overseas authority”. This section of the Act refers to “overseas authority” rather than “overseas government” because it will not always be the government of a country which has responsibility for the functions outlined at subsection (11)(a) – (c).

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