Commissioners of Customs and Excise v A; A v A: FD 18 Apr 2002

The husband had been convicted of trafficking in cannabis, and an order had been made confiscating his assets. His wife had already petitioned for divorce and begun ancillary relief proceedings. She claimed that her interest in the house under section 24 of the Act was protected. The receiver sought sale of the house to recover the sum ordered.
Held: The section under the 1994 Act did protect the interest of the wife. Her right to occupy the house under the 1973 Act created an interest over and above her financial interest, and that interest was protected by section 31(4). There had to be a right and that right had to be ‘in’ the property. She claimed a similar protection under the Human Rights Act. Despite the risk of the husband being unable to satisfy the confiscation order, and thus be returned to prison, the proper order in this case was to vest the entire house in the wife’s name.


Mr Justice Munby


Times 09-May-2002


Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 24, Drug Trafficking Act 1994 31(4) 62(5)(a) 62(3), European Convention on Human Rights Art 8 Pro 1


England and Wales

Customs and Excise, Family, Human Rights

Updated: 17 July 2022; Ref: scu.170297