Last year, the government introduced the Criminal Proceeds and Instruments Bill. The bill would have created a new asset forfeiture regime, allowing the assets of "criminals" to be seized without the need for any offence to be proved (or indeed, for them even to be charged). But despite all this bold talk about how they were going to boost revenue by seizing the houses, cars and bank accounts of "crims" (and other random people the police decided to target), the bill hasn't made any further progress; it hung around on the Order Paper for over a year, waiting for its first reading.
Not anymore. There's no sign of it on the latest Order Paper, and it appears to have been discharged. I'm not sure whether this is because the government couldn't find the numbers to pass it, or because they just got sick of seeing it going nowhere, but either way, it's gone.
Needless to say, I am pleased. The bill was a recipe for injustice which inevitably would have seen innocent people lose their life savings solely on suspicion, while allowing kingpins to buy their way out of jail. It would have introduced Ahmed Zaoui standards of evidence into our criminal justice system - and that is something we can do without.
(More posts on asset forfeiture can be found here).