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 12: The Current Forfeiture Regime in Taiwan

Lawrence L.C. Lee

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

Extract

Lawrence L.C. Lee INTRODUCTION Asset forfeiture has been and remains a highly effective tool for taking the profit out of crime.1 Crime related to obtaining monetary interests seems to be a necessary evil which cannot be eliminated. Once money becomes the aim for crime, the incentives for recidivism are strong. The most effective way to prevent such crimes is to cut off the temptations for such activities. The goal of a forfeiture system is to sever the tie between crime and the motivation to commit crime. Another important goal is to transfer the criminal interests in property, such as a drug dealer’s helicopter or fancy automobile, to benefit the governmental resources in fighting crime. The dual effects of a forfeiture regime will therefore cut off the criminal interest in property and preserve the beneficial outcome for the national authorities. This is one of the major reasons why most common law countries, such as the United States (US), have established a forfeiture regime.2 Taiwan’s constitution ensures its citizens have the right of property.3 The government cannot deprive citizens of property without monetary compensation or legal judicial process. Taiwan currently has a regime for judicial forfeiture (criminal forfeiture) and non-judicial forfeiture (detention by the 1 See Department of the Treasury (US) (April 2004), Guide to Equitable Sharing for Foreign Countries and Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, Washington DC, US: Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture: see online version at http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/enforcement/teoaf/guidelines/greenbook.pdf, accessed 16 January 2008. 2 For more on the US...

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