Select Committee on European Union Forty-Ninth Report


Letter from the Chairman to Ms Dawn Primarolo MP, Paymaster General, HM Treasury

  Sub-Committee E (Law and Institutions) considered the proposal at its meeting on March 5, in the light of your letter of 31 January to the Commons European Scrutiny Committee. We share your concerns regarding the compatibility of the proposal with domestic law and the ECHR and have doubts over the appropriateness of Article 135 TEC as its legal base. It would be helpful if the Committee could have sight of the Opinion of the Council Legal Service on the matter.

  The Committee notes that the Government could accept Article 135 TEC as the legal base if the detention provisions were classified as civil. It is, however, difficult to envisage detention of proceeds of crime being "civil" and not "criminal". We would be grateful if you would clarify the Government's position on this.

  The Committee decided to retain the proposal under scrutiny.

6 March 2002

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