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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Access to Justice Act 1999 (c.22)

678.These amendments make it clear that Community Legal Service funding (civil public funding) is available for certain proceedings under the Act. They are required, firstly, because Part 2 of the Act transfers restraint and receivership proceedings from the High Court to the Crown Court. High Court proceedings attract civil public funding, but Crown Court proceedings normally do not. Civil public funding is to be available, on the standard basis, to cover situations where criminal public funding is unavailable and inappropriate. They will make civil public funding available for applications to vary restraint and receivership orders, applications challenging action taken by a receiver, proceedings relating to the distribution of excess funds once a confiscation order has been satisfied, compensation applications under section 72 and 73 and applications to vary the investigative orders made under Part 8. In all these cases the recipient of a tainted gift or a third party who is affected by restraint or receivership might need legal funding. In addition, the defendant will not be entitled to criminal legal funding until the institution of proceedings. However, restraint and receivership action can be taken before the institution of proceedings, at the investigative stage. Therefore, the amendments ensure that there is no gap in the funding available to the defendant.

679.The amendments also make it clear that cash forfeiture proceedings under Chapter 3 of Part 5 also attract Community Legal Service funding.

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