Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008
2008 CHAPTER 4
Part 6: International co-operation in relation to criminal justice matters
54.Sections 80 to 92 and Schedules 18 and 19 give effect to the European Council Framework Decision on the mutual recognition of financial penalties in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. Section 80 (or 82 in respect of Northern Ireland) provides for the submission by the Lord Chancellor to another member State of a certificate requesting enforcement of a financial penalty incurred by an offender who is normally resident or who has property or income in that other member State. Section 84 (or 87 in respect of Northern Ireland) provides for the receipt, by the Lord Chancellor, from another member State of like certificates requesting the enforcement of a financial penalty incurred by an offender in that other State who is normally resident or who has property or income in one of the jurisdictions in this country and for the transmission of such a certificate to a magistrates’ court. Section 85 (or 88 in Northern Ireland) and Schedule 18 set out the procedure for a magistrates’ court to validate such incoming requests and the grounds for refusal of such requests.
55.Sections 93 to 96 amend the Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984 to enable the United Kingdom to ratify the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. The Protocol provides for the transfer of prisoners without their consent where the prisoner is to be deported at the end of the sentence or where a prisoner has fled from one jurisdiction to another in order to avoid imprisonment. Subject to the extension of section 44 of the Police and Justice Act 2006 to Scotland (section 96), sufficient legislation is already in place to deal with the transfer of those prisoners subject to deportation, but further legislation is required to deal with prisoners who have fled. Sections 94 and 95 create a procedure for the transfer of responsibility for the enforcement of a sentence of a prisoner who has fled from one jurisdiction to another. Section 93 extends the scope of the Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984 to enable a British escort to deliver a prisoner to a point of arrival in the receiving country, extending the flexibility of the current arrangements.
56.Section 97 amends the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 so that the Treasury may provide for functions conferred on the Secretary of State in relation to requests mutual legal assistance from overseas authorities may be exercisable instead by HMRC in relation to direct tax matters.
Part 6 –International co-operation in relation to criminal justice matters
88.Sections 80 to 92 implement the Council Framework Decision on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to financial penalties (2005/214/JHA), which was adopted in 2005. The Framework Decision allows a financial penalty imposed on an offender in one European Union Member State to be transferred to another Member State for enforcement. Responsibility for the enforcement of financial penalties received from another Member State will rest with the magistrates’ court where the offender is located and its designated Fines Officer, in line with their responsibilities for enforcement of fines imposed domestically.
Commentary on Sections
Part 6: International co-operation in relation to criminal matters
Section 80: Requests to other member States: England and Wales
543.This section is concerned with requests made to other Member States for enforcement of financial penalties imposed in England and Wales. It firstly amends Schedule 5 to the Courts Act 2003, which is concerned with the powers of the courts and fines officers to enforce fines, costs and compensation. Subsection (1) adds the issue of a certificate requesting enforcement under the Council Framework Decision to the steps which can be taken against a defaulter regarding a financial penalty within the meaning of this section. This step is only available where the defaulter is normally resident, or has property or income, in another Member State.
544.Subsection (2) allows a certificate requesting enforcement of a financial penalty under the Council Framework Decision to be issued by a designated officer of a magistrates’ court in circumstances not covered by Schedule 5 to the Courts Act 2003. This would be the case where the offender is under 18 years of age or a legal person. It is a condition that the penalty has not been paid in full within the time allowed and that there is no appeal outstanding.
545.Subsection (3) describes the circumstances in which it is considered that no appeal is outstanding for the purposes of subsection (2)(c).
546.Subsection (4) provides that in the case of corporate bodies, subsection (2)(e) applies as if references to the offender normally being resident in another Member State were to the corporate body having its registered office in a Member State other than the UK.
547.Subsection (5) defines “financial penalty” for the purposes of this section.
Section 92: Interpretation of sections 80 to 91 etc.
570.This section defines the terms “central authority”, “central authority for Scotland”, “competent authority”, “Framework Decision on financial penalties”, “decision” and “financial penalty” for the purposes of the sections concerned.
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