On 21 February 2017, the House of Commons unanimously moved to amend the Criminal Finances Bill 2016 to include a new asset recovery provision which will appear in Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The provision will see the expansion of the definition of ‘unlawful conduct’ in Part 5 to include torture and gross human rights abuse, and will better enable law enforcement authorities to confiscate illicit wealth. Billed the ‘Magnitsky’ provision, the proposed mechanism recognises the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was tortured and killed in Russian detention after he exposed one of the largest cases of fraud implicating public officials in Russia.
Jonathan Fisher QC was instructed by Mr Magnitsky’s former employer and the Magnitsky Justice Campaign to develop a Magnitsky legislative proposal and prepare an Opinion in support. In Parliament yesterday, the Hon. Dominic Raab MP thanked Jonathan for his involvement in developing the proposal which achieved wide cross-party support. Jonathan was recognised as
“one of the leading experts…who carefully helped us to craft the mechanism.”