Legal Measures for Targeting the Proceeds of Crime
Edited by Simon N.M. Young
6. Civil asset forfeiture in Canada James McKeachie and Jeffrey Simser* A substantial proportion of criminal activity makes money, consumes money or both.1 INTRODUCTION TO CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE2 Over the past 20 years, there has been considerable attention paid to the relationship between money and unlawful activity, both domestically and internationally.3 Civil asset forfeiture or non-conviction based forfeiture is an important element of this discussion. This chapter canvasses civil asset forfeiture in Canada. The authors of this chapter have been at the forefront of Canadian developments in policy, law and litigation since 2000. The chapter covers the theoretical underpinnings, legislative techniques and practical implications of non-conviction based forfeiture. As Canada develops, one looks to burgeoning jurisprudence in other countries. Wherever possible, relevant cases from the United States (US), Australia, Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK) have been included in the footnotes. * The views expressed herein are those of the authors personally and do not represent the views of the government of Ontario or its Ministry of the Attorney General. 1 See Mariano-Florentino Cueller (2003), ‘The Tenuous Relationship Between the Fight Against Money Laundering and the Disruption of Criminal Finance’, J Crim L & Criminology, 93, 311, at p. 323. This 154-page article provides a very interesting critique of the current investigative, prosecutorial and regulatory system designed to interdict international criminal finance. 2 Many people refer to civil forfeiture and civil asset forfeiture interchangeably, we prefer to use the phrase ‘civil asset forfeiture’ because it more accurately describes the forfeiture...
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