Enforcement of confiscation orders
Produced in partnership with Quinton Newcomb

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Quinton Newcomb provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Enforcement of confiscation orders
  • Status of a confiscation order
  • How is a confiscation order fulfilled?
  • Time to pay a confiscation order
  • Interest on an outstanding confiscation order
  • The magistrates' court—responsibilities and powers
  • Enforcement hearings
  • Will the defendant be represented at the enforcement hearing?
  • Enforcement in the Crown Court
  • Appointment of an enforcement receiver
  • More...

Enforcement of confiscation orders

Status of a confiscation order

Technically, a confiscation order is an order to pay a sum of money to the state; representing the benefit from the defendant’s offending. It is designed to be restitutionary although there are punitive elements.

There are two stages to confiscation proceedings: the first is the making of the confiscation order itself and the second is securing its enforcement.

Once the confiscation order has been made, it serves as a statutory debt and is treated for certain purposes like a fine. The ‘fine’ is collected and enforced by a specified magistrates' court or, if none is specified, by the committing magistrates' court. The confiscation order will also incorporate a sentence to be served in default of payment. See Practice Note: Default term in confiscation.

A confiscation order is often described as an order ‘in personam’ as opposed to being ‘in rem’. It does not affect interests in property.

In Crown Prosecution Service v Aquila Advisory Ltd, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) that a confiscation order does not give the prosecutor or the state any form of proprietary interest in the defendant's available assets or any priority over other claims and interests in those assets. In this case, the Supreme Court rejected the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) arguments that the ex turpi causa

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