Civil Forfeiture and Article 6 of the ECHR: Due Process Implications for England and Wales and Ireland

(2014) 34(3) Legal Studies 371-394

38 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2013 Last revised: 3 Jul 2017

See all articles by Colin King

Colin King

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London

Date Written: March 15, 2013

Abstract

Civil forfeiture is playing an increasingly prominent role in the fight against organised crime. While this tool is attractive to law enforcement agencies, it does give rise to concerns under Art 6 of the ECHR. Such proceedings ought to attract the full range of enhanced procedural protections inherent in the criminal process. Even if the Strasbourg Court decides otherwise, there is an argument that the presumption of innocence ought to apply where civil forfeiture proceedings are instituted against a person subsequent to that person being acquitted in criminal proceedings. The Strasbourg jurisprudence, though, is permeated by confusion and inconsistency, which does not inspire confidence that the rights of the individual will be protected. The final section of this paper, then, considers whether civil forfeiture represents a proportionate response in the fight against organised crime. Ultimately, though, given lack of information on such crime, we cannot provide an answer either way – what can be said, though, is that civil forfeiture has had a significant impact on the rights of the individual.

Keywords: proceeds of crime, civil forfeiture, non conviction based asset forfeiture, confiscation, organised crime, proportionality, presumption of innocence, criminal procedure, evidence, due process, ECHR, human rights

Suggested Citation

King, Colin, Civil Forfeiture and Article 6 of the ECHR: Due Process Implications for England and Wales and Ireland (March 15, 2013). (2014) 34(3) Legal Studies 371-394, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2295533

Colin King (Contact Author)

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London ( email )

Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5DR
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
96
Abstract Views
396
rank
390,138
PlumX Metrics