Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Officials slam new civil forfeiture regime

24 November, 2004

Govt’s own officials slam new civil forfeiture regime

The Government should follow advice contained in its own Cabinet papers and reject proposed changes to Proceeds of Crime legislation, the Green Party says.

“The Cabinet papers illustrate that the Government is ignoring impartial advice in order to pursue a dangerous course,” Green Justice Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos said. “This is a fundamentally unfair law, and the Government knows it because its advisors have told it so.”

Cabinet papers published in media reports this morning show that senior Government advisors are highly critical of civil forfeiture laws announced yesterday by Justice Minister Phil Goff.

“The proposals call into question the Justice Minister’s commitment to basic principles of justice. This is Phil Goff’s second attempt to undermine double jeopardy. Is that to be his legacy as Justice Minister?”

Double jeopardy guarantees that someone acquitted of a crime cannot be tried again for the same crime, and that someone cannot be punished twice for the same crime.

“If the police cannot prosecute someone for a crime, they will now be able to go after that person’s property instead, with a much lower standard of proof. Anyone who cares about the integrity of the justice system should be very concerned.”

The Cabinet papers also warn that the law provides the police with an easier way of penalising potentially criminal conduct than the ordinary criminal process, “creating a perverse incentive to divert police resources away from criminal investigation in favour of civil forfeiture”.

Nandor said that his discussions with Home Office officials and senior police during a visit to the UK in May indicated that British police resources were being diverted away from criminal investigation towards asset seizure.

“Policing in the UK is now measured not by crime reduction, but by how much money is seized. Even more perverse incentives are being devised to ensure law enforcement focuses on chasing the money rather than convicting criminals. That is not a path New Zealand should follow.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news