CONFISCATION OF ASSETS AND THE PROCEEDS
Revised draft framework decision on the identification, tracing, freezing, seizing and confiscation of instrumentalities and the proceeds from crime.
||Article 34(2)(b) EU; consultation; unanimity
|Basis of consideration:
||Minister's letter of 4 December 2000
|Previous Committee Report:
||HC 23-xxviii (1999-2000), paragraph 19 (1 November 2000)
|To be discussed in Council:
||No date set|
||Cleared (decision reported on 1 November 2000)
10.1 When we considered this proposal in
November, we cleared it from scrutiny, since the most controversial
Articles in the measure had been dropped. We signalled our intention
of probing the Government's position on mutual recognition issues
once the promised proposal on mutual recognition of pre-trial
orders to freeze assets was forthcoming. We also asked the Minister
of State at the Home Office (Mrs Barbara Roche) whether she had
proposed, as we suggested, that the 1990 Convention be annexed
to the draft Framework Decision text, in the interests of transparency.
The Minister's letter
10.2 The Minister has now responded. She
reminds us of the reasons for dropping the controversial Articles,
"As you are aware it
was decided that such fundamental issues as dual criminality and
early restraint needed to be dealt with in their own right and
not be subsumed in the consideration of the draft Framework decision.
As these were matters that were likely to be of central importance
in the discussion on mutual recognition applied to the freezing
of assets, they would best be dealt with in this initiative."
10.3 The Minister also tells us that a Presidency
text related to mutual recognition and asset seizing will be deposited
for scrutiny shortly. She undertakes to address the issues we
raised in her Explanatory Memorandum.
10.4 In relation to our suggestion that
the 1990 Convention be annexed to the Framework Decision text,
the Minister informs us that the UK representation in Brussels
has advised that it was not "appropriate in principle for
a Council of Europe text to be annexed to a European Union Third
10.5 We thank the Minister for her response,
and for her undertaking to address the issues we raised when she
supplies an Explanatory Memorandum on the new proposal related
to mutual recognition and asset seizing.
10.6 We regret that it is "inappropriate
in principle" for the 1990 Convention to be annexed to the
Framework Decision text, since it would simplify matters considerably.
However, we thank the Minister for at least raising the question.
10.7 We have already cleared the document.