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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 185: Enforcement as fines etc

250.Section 185 explains how confiscation orders are to be enforced. As at present, the order will be treated as a Crown Court fine and enforced, as a Crown Court fine. Essentially the burden of enforcing such orders falls on the main prosecuting authority in Northern Ireland the Office of the Director for Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland (DPP). Unlike in England and Wales, Crown Court fines in Northern Ireland are not enforced by or through the magistrates’ court. This results in some differences between the two jurisdictions in the powers of enforcement available.

251.Accordingly, this section provides for confiscation orders to be enforced essentially in the same way as fines are enforced in Northern Ireland by referring to the relevant legislation, the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945. However, as in England and Wales one of the main features of this regime is that the Crown Court, where it makes a confiscation order, is required to set a term of imprisonment in default of payment. The maximum default term that may be imposed is determined by the size of the confiscation order. There is no substantial difference in the maximum default term applicable to a particular confiscation order between the various United Kingdom jurisdictions.

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