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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Sections 156-168: Confiscation orders; Procedural matters

232.These sections set out some of the basic principles of the Act. These sections will establish essentially the same procedure for the obtaining of confiscation orders in Northern Ireland as the Act proposes elsewhere for England and Wales. However, while all confiscation orders will be made in the Crown Court, in Northern Ireland confiscation orders may only be made in the Crown Court in two circumstances. These are either following conviction in the Crown Court or where a defendant convicted in the magistrates’ court is committed to the Crown Court for confiscation under a new power for this purpose created in the Act by section 221. This difference from the proposed procedure for England and Wales is a consequence of the lack of power currently in Northern Ireland for a magistrates court to commit for sentence to the Crown Court a person convicted in the magistrates’ court. This power introduced in England and Wales by the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 did not extend to Northern Ireland.

233.The only other differences in text are as a result of references to Northern Ireland legislation equivalent to the legislation referred to in the sections for England and Wales.

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