How should the value of frozen property be calculated for purposes of the jurisdictional limits of the Magistrates’ Court (and by extension, the District Court)? The correct calculation has been held to be based on the total value of the frozen property; contrary to previous practice.Read More
Criminal Property Confiscation
& Proceeds of Crime
The Athenian lawmaker Draco is reputed to have imposed for all offences, even the most trifling, the penalty appropriate for the most severe [death] so that there was only one punishment.
Asset forfeiture regimes are often described as draconian. However Draco imposed his punishments on offenders, not innocent victims. Asset forfeiture laws often also adversely affect innocent third parties.
Common themes of modern asset forfeiture across Australia and the world include reversal of the onus of proof, no right to silence, harsh deeming provisions and the ability for the authorities to take action even when nobody has been convicted or even charged.
warning Strict time limits apply: as little as 7 days to comply with obligations or protect interests.
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth)
The Criminal Asset Confiscation Task Force led by the Australian Federal Police is responsible for most matters under the federal Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Criminal Property Confiscation Act 2000 (WA)
The WA Police Proceeds of Crime Squad investigate matters under the CPCA. A dedicated team of lawyers at the DPP (WA) deal with the litigation.
Similar legislation exists in all states and territories. For example, the Northern Territory Criminal Property Forfeiture Act largely replicates the WA Act. I am able to advise and appear in all jurisdictions.
Asset forfeiture blog posts
The South Australia District Court recently published an interesting (and lengthy) decision considering the interaction of compulsory examinations under s 180 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) with the accusatorial criminal process: R v Ruzehaji (No 2)  SADC 119.Read More
The WA government has introduced legislation amending the Criminal Property Confiscation Act 2000 (WA) to give the CCC power to investigate and litigate Unexplained Wealth matters. This has potentially significant consequences. I consider those effects.Read More
I explain the reasons why it may be appropriate to consider using a secure, encrypted service for communications between lawyer and client. I consider various apps including Wickr, BlackBerry BBM, Signal, WhatsApp across multiple platforms.Read More
The AFP attempted to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to restrain property of innocent victims of money laundering. The circumstances of this case were highly suggestive of ‘cuckoo smurfing’. The WA Supreme Ct ordered the AFP to return the innocent victim’s money. I acted for the successful innocent parties in this matter.Read More