I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 13:
In page 17, before section 14, the following new section inserted:
(1) This section applies where—
(a) the High Court has made a confiscation order by virtue of section 11 (4) of this Act, and
(b) the defendant has ceased to be an absconder.
(2) If, on an application by the defendant or the Director of Public Prosecutions in respect of the confiscation order, the High Court is satisfied that—
(a) the value of the defendant's proceeds of drug trafficking or his benefit as mentioned in section 7 (4) of this Act in the period by reference to which the determination in question was made ("the original value"), or
(b) the amount that might have been realised at the time the confiscation order was made,
was less than the amount ordered to be paid under the confiscation order, the court—
(i) may make a fresh determination of the value of the defendant's proceeds or benefit under section 4 of this Act in the case of drug trafficking and under section 7 of this Act in the case of an offence other than a drug trafficking offence, and
(ii) may, if it considers it just in all the circumstances, vary the amount to be recovered under the confiscation order.
(3) For any determination under section 4 of this Act by virtue of this section, section 5 (5) shall not apply in relation to any of the defendant's proceeds of drug trafficking taken into account in determining the original value.
(4) Where the court varies a confiscation order under this section it may, on an application by a person who held property which was realisable property, order compensation to be paid to the applicant if—
(a) it is satisfied that the applicant has suffered loss as a result of the making of the confiscation order; and
(b) having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the court considers it to be appropriate.
(5) The amount of compensation to be paid under this section shall be such as the court considers just in all the circumstances of the case.
(6) No application shall be entertained by the court under this section if it is made after the end of the period of six years beginning with the date on which the confiscation order was made.
This amendment enables the defendant or the Director of Public Prosecutions to apply to the High Court to vary a confiscation order made against an absconder under section 11 (4) where the absconder has returned. I will sum it up in my own language; it enables the Director of Public Prosecutions or the defendant to apply to the High Court to vary the amount of a confiscation order made against an absconder in two circumstances in which (a) and (b) occurs. Circumstances (a) is where the absconder returns and (b) in which the court is satisfied that the amount of his or her benefit was overestimated when the confiscation order was made, or that his or her assets are not sufficient to satisfy that order.
Similar provision for the variation of confiscation orders is already included in section 13 where an absconder is not involved.
Provision is also being made for the payment of compensation where the High Court varies a confiscation order made by virtue of section 11 (4) when compensation will be payable to a person who suffered loss as a result of the making of the order.
It is a fairly simple amendment and deals with something which, as Deputy O'Donnell pointed out, should have been dealt with in the Bill as originally drafted; but it is a fairly long, complex Bill and we cannot think of everything.