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Article 6(2) ECHR does not prevent recovery by the state of property obtained through unlawful conduct

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Article 6(2) ECHR does not prevent recovery by the state of property obtained through unlawful conduct


06 May 2009

The Inner House of the Court of Session has ruled that the scheme of civil recoveries under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is not incompatible with Article 6(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

In Scottish Ministers v Doig and Cameron [2009] CSIH 34 the Scottish Ministers sought recovery of property obtained by unlawful conduct.  The petition contained various allegations of drug dealing on the part of the third respondent.  He had earlier been acquitted of charges brought under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, after evidence had been ruled inadmissible at his trial.  He argued that the bringing of subsequent civil recovery proceedings by the Scottish Ministers cast doubt on his acquittal, and accordingly that the proceedings were contrary to the presumption of innocence contained in Article 6(2) of the European Convention.  The Inner House found in favour of the Scottish Ministers.

Ruth Crawford QC and Anna Poole of Axiom Advocates acted for the Scottish Ministers.

http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2009csih34.html