- POCA 2002 asset restraint orders pre-charge—discharge through delay (R v S)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Corporate Crime analysis: The Court of Appeal laid down guidance on the proper approach to the discharge of a restraint order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002), where a substantial period had elapsed since the commencement of a criminal investigation without a prosecution commencing. POCA 2002, s 41(7B) and 42(7) require the court to discharge such an order if it is made before the commencement of criminal proceedings and they are not started within a reasonable time. The Court of Appeal explained (reversing the judge below) that the reasonable time test should not be glossed or paraphrased. Due weight must be given to modern unused material disclosure obligations and best practice guides which front-load disclosure, requiring work to be done pre–charge so that, if and when criminal proceedings are instituted, disclosure can be managed efficiently. Written by Kennedy Talbot QC, barrister, at 33 Chancery Lane, London.
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