Extension of the SAR moratorium period

Jul 6, 2017

Extension of the SAR moratorium period

Section 10 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 provides a scheme for the extension of the moratorium period beyond 31 days. The Government justifies this in the explanatory notes to the bill, stating that at present it “often does not allow sufficient time to develop the evidence, particularly where it must be sought from overseas through mutual legal assistance.”

The application for an extension must be made to the Crown Court / Sheriff Court. The Court can grant an extension if it is satisfied that:

A further application can be made before the extended 31 day period has expired, but the Court may not grant an extension if the total period is extended by more than 186 days (approximately six months) after the initial 31 day period.

The test for extension has some parallels to the Policing and Crime Act 2017 limits to pre-charge bail. the test may act as a safeguard, putting some pressure on the authorities to progress the investigation and providing any respondent with ammunition with which to resist it.

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About Tom

Tom Orange is a criminal litigation lawyer with experience of a range of white collar crime matters. He has acted for clients in the defence of complex and high-value prosecutions brought by the SFO and the FCA