Confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
Confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  • POCA 2002 commencement provisions
  • Purpose of confiscation under POCA 2002
  • Circumstances in which an order can be made
  • The statutory framework and the R v May principles
  • Confiscation orders in summary proceedings
  • Confiscation procedure
  • Confiscation orders and proportionality

This Practice Note considers the purposes of and procedure applicable to confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002), which replaced the previous regimes available under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (CJA 1988), in Part VI and the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 (DTA 1994) (together, the pre-POCA 2002 regime). For detailed guidance on the pre-POCA 2002 regime, see:

  1. Practice Note: Confiscation pre Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

  2. Confiscation Procedure under the Criminal Justice Act 1988—checklist

POCA 2002 commencement provisions

The commencement provisions for the regime under POCA 2002, which replaced that under the pre-POCA 2002 regime, are contained in POCA 2002, s 458 and associated secondary legislation.

Pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Commencement No 5, Transitional Provisions, Savings and Amendments) Order 2003, SI 2003/333, Arts 2 and 3, although the power to make a confiscation order under POCA 2002, s 6 came into force on 24 March 2003, the provisions would not have effect where the offence(s), or any of the offences, for the purposes of confiscation, was committed before 24 March 2003 (the transitional provision).

In R v McCool, the Supreme Court (by a majority) applied a purpose interpretation to these provisions and found, in respect of mirror provisions exercisable in Northern Ireland, that Parliament cannot have intended that a number of post-2003 offences should be removed