The Seizure of Illicit Assets: Patterns of Civil Forfeiture in Canada and Ireland
(2013) 42 Common Law World Review 91-109
16 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2013
Date Written: December 20, 2012
Civil forfeiture is a modern crime control instrument that targets property linked to criminal activity. A recent addition to the State’s crime control toolbox, the development of civil forfeiture in Ireland and in Canada shows remarkable resistance to the idea that standard criminal justice safeguards govern the forfeiture process. The stark parallels in these two jurisdictions demonstrate tacit acceptance of a strategy that proves perilous to long-held procedural and substantive rights. By deftly shifting to formally civil instruments, Ireland and Canada have organized an assault on crime that circumvents the conventional criminal law, arguably seriously abrogating rights and procedural justice.
Keywords: proceeds of crime, organized crime, standard of proof; due process, criminal law, property rights, proportionality
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