Legal professional privilege is often taken for granted by lawyers; and for that matter by some clients. This post discusses its application in the context of proceeds of crime and confiscation matters. Lawyers acting in such matters need to be particularly on guard in relation to the privilege. Read more
If your client is facing proceeds of crime or criminal property confiscation proceedings it is worth getting specialist advice early.
This will allow your client to make an informed decision, and put forward an appropriate settlement offer. This will maximise the prospects of success and minimise the costs and uncertainty of litigation. Read more
Decisions under the Criminal Property Confiscation Act 2000 (WA) about whether property is ‘effectively controlled’ by a person who has been convicted of an offence are relatively rare.
Allanson J has recently published such a decision: Dang v the State of Western Australia  WASC 419. Whilst it contains no new principles it is a useful example of the way the Courts approach effective control. Read more
The NSW Court of Appeal has provided guidance on the approach to costs orders made in favour of people who have successfully defended action under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth): Gwe v Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (No 2)  NSWCA 350. Read more
Useful guidance on the appropriate discount for an early plea of guilty for WA state offences including Criminal Code and Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 offences. Read more
The NSW Court of Appeal handed down its decision in Gwe v the Commissioner of the AFP on 2 October 2020. This decision is significant, as it is the first time innocent victims of cuckoo smurfing have been successful in an appellate court. Read more
The Victorian Court of Appeal concluded that there is no mechanism by which ‘hardship’ can be taken into account when property is automatically forfeited as a result of a conviction of a serious offence. Read more
The Supreme Court of Victoria has published a decision, Song v Commissioner of Australian Federal Police  VSC 465, considering the proper construction of s27 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) (POCA). Read more
This blog post details the legal structure that underpins the COVIDSafe app (colloquially the COVID tracking app) released for Apple App Store and Google Play Store by the Australian Government Department of Health on Sunday 26 April 2020. Read more
While the High Court found the search warrant was invalid this is something of a hollow victory for Ms Smethurst. The High Court did not grant injunctive relief or damages. While the High Court found that the search warrant was invalid, there’s nothing in this decision to prevent the AFP from making use of the information gained from it. Read more