Civil Forfeiture of Criminal Property

Civil Forfeiture of Criminal Property

Legal Measures for Targeting the Proceeds of Crime

Edited by Simon N.M. Young

In this book, which is the first of its kind, leading experts examine the civil and criminal forfeiture systems in Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the fight against organized crime and international money laundering, there is a global trend for countries to enact forfeiture and confiscation laws that are applied through the civil process rather than the traditional criminal justice system. The authors gathered here analyze the appeal these civil forfeiture laws have for governments for their potential to disrupt criminal organizations and for their quantifiable benefits to the state. But without the usual safeguards of the criminal process, civil forfeiture laws are controversial, attracting constitutional challenges, particularly on human rights grounds.

Chapter 11: Civil Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime: A View from Macau

Jorge A.F. Godinho

Subjects: economics and finance, economic crime and corruption, law - academic, corruption and economic crime, criminal law and justice, finance and banking law, human rights, politics and public policy, human rights


Jorge A.F. Godinho INTRODUCTION Having noticed the title of this text, a reader familiar with the legal system of Macau in general,1 and its criminal law in particular,2 may wonder what its useful purpose is, and immediately remark that to consider civil confiscation or civil forfeiture of proceeds of crime in connection with the legal system of Macau is to write about something that simply does not exist. And such remark would of course be accurate. This therefore could be an extremely short and laconic chapter, which would simply inform the reader that there is no such thing in the laws of the Macau SAR and that, furthermore, the issue is so unfamiliar to lawyers trained in the civil law tradition that most probably have never heard of it. It is highly likely that anyone questioning the legal professions and the legal academics of Macau as to what is their opinion regarding the issue of civil confiscation 1 For an overview, see J. Godinho (2007), Macau business law and legal system, Hong Kong: Lexis Nexis, chapter I; see also the writings of various authors in (2007), Repertório do direito de Macau, Macau: University of Macau. 2 The main source is the 1995 Penal Code (hereinafter Code), approved by Decree-Law no. 58/95/M, of 14 November, which entered into force 1 January 1996. The Code is clearly influenced by the German Penal Code (the Strafgesetzbuch of 1871, as amended, especially in 1975). However, the criminal law of Macau suffers...

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