Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Doin' time

I have a student who is currently doing time with Her Majesty. This student wants to write his life story. What are the laws regarding writing a book of true crime when criminals are not supposed to profit from the proceeds of crime. If the student writes about his life and part of the book focuses on the crime, does this make a difference?

It's just as well I have an LLB (Hons) after my name otherwise I wouldn't really feel qualified to answer this ...

The key part of your question is 'profiting from the proceeds of crime' - so long as your student receives no profit, there's no problem. Which means that any monies he may receive from a hypothetical publishing deal would have to go to someone else and, I believe, could not be held in trust for him to receive at a later stage. He would never be able to access the proceeds. There is no law stopping him writing about his experiences - hello, representative democracy - it's just the profiting part.

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