15th March 2012
Court of Appeal decides so-called “multiple recovery” under confiscation law not contrary to criminals’ human rights
Mathew Gullick appeared for the Home Secretary (led by First Treasury Counsel, Jonathan Swift QC) in R v Lambert & Walding  EWCA Crim 421, intervening on an appeal against confiscation orders imposed against two cannabis producers to whom the statutory assumptions regarding criminal lifestyle had not been applied by the Crown Court. The confiscation orders were made against each of them in the full amount of their joint benefit from their particular offending, as they both had assets in excess of the benefit figure. They argued that they should each have had to pay only one half of the amount ordered.
The appellants’ argument that this so-called “multiple recovery” by the State was a disproportionate interference with their right to property under Article 1 Protocol 1 of the ECHR was resisted by both the CPS and the Home Secretary. It was rejected by the Court in a judgment given by Lord Justice Pill which reviewed the case law in detail and explained the effect of the seminal judgment of Lord Bingham in R v May  UKHL 28 on this issue.
The Court of Appeal’s judgment is now available on BAILII. You can read more by following this link.