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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 31: Appeal by prosecutor or Director

68.Section 31 gives the prosecutor and the Director a new power to appeal against any confiscation order made by the Crown Court, and against any decision of the Crown Court not to make a confiscation order. The appeal lies on any ground because the Act does not specify the kind of appeal involved. However, only an appeal on a point of law or fact will be possible under these provisions. The reason for this is that the post-conviction confiscation procedures are mandatory and therefore it is not possible for there to be an appeal on the merits in such a case (but see next paragraph for the position on revaluation cases etc). The appeal will be available where, for example, the prosecutor or the Director believe that the court has failed to take account of property which should be taken account of, or has made some miscalculation concerning the amount of the order.

69.A prosecutor’s or Director’s appeal does not, however, lie against a decision of the Crown Court under sections 19 and 20 (reconsideration), or under sections 27 and 28 (convicted and unconvicted absconders). These sections all grant the Crown Court a wide degree of discretion and it would be possible to give the prosecutor and the Director an appeal on the merits in such a case. The target of their appeal rights in this Act, however, is not the court’s exercise of a discretion but its application of the mandatory confiscation procedures.

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