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Criminal benefit, the confiscation order and the post-conviction confiscation regime

Bullock, K (2014) Criminal benefit, the confiscation order and the post-conviction confiscation regime Crime, Law and Social Change, 62 (1). pp. 45-64.

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Abstract

Governments and law enforcement agencies around the world seek to identify and confiscate the 'proceeds of crime' on the assertion that doing so will deter offending and symbolise to citizens and communities that 'crime does not pay'. In the UK such assertions have underpinned the enactment of legislation, the investment in law enforcement agents and the development of wide ranging new technologies to facilitate the identification of assets and their recovery. This paper critically considers two key concepts which fundamentally drive the post-conviction confiscation regime in the UK. First, 'criminal benefit' which is the amount that a defendant is adjudged to have made from 'criminal conduct'. Second, the 'available amount' which is the amount that the state hopes to recover from a defendant via the court ordered 'confiscation order'. In so doing, this paper explores the assumptions at the heart of the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act and their application in practice, concentrating on the nature of the powers accorded to financial investigators and how these powers have been interpreted and applied. It is argued that far from representing the 'profit' generated from crime these values are constructs founded in the relationship between legislation, the discretional practice of police officers and financial investigators, organisational restrictions and constraints and informal negotiation and compromise between the defence and prosecution. This has implications for both conceptualising the nature of the post-conviction confiscation regime as well as for shaping what the state might expect to recover from defendants. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Bullock, KUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 27 April 2014
Identification Number : 10.1007/s10611-014-9517-7
Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10611-014-9517-7
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 25 Sep 2015 17:09
Last Modified : 22 Dec 2015 09:29
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/808565

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