- Review of the Criminal Property Confiscation Act 2000 is underway
- Former Chief Justice, the Hon Wayne Martin AC QC, to conduct the review
- Review is expected to be completed in early 2019
Attorney General John Quigley has announced that a review of the State's asset confiscation laws is underway.
Western Australia's former Chief Justice, the Hon Wayne Martin AC QC, has been appointed to conduct a review of the Criminal Property Confiscation Act 2000 (the Act).
The Act, which came into effect in 2001, enables the State to, amongst other things, seize and confiscate property or assets acquired as a result of criminal activity, or used for criminal activity, including drug trafficking.
Since that time, there have been a number of reviews and recommendations from several parties, including the Law Society of WA and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, to amend the Act.
A review of the Act will address the various recommendations made since its enactment, including improving protections for innocent third parties, which has been advocated strongly by Liberal Democrat Aaron Stonehouse MLC.
The review is expected to be completed in early 2019.
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"Back in 2000, the State Parliament had intentionally designed these laws to have a very significant effect so that there is a real deterrent to those who deal in drugs.
"The confiscation of property of a person declared to be a drug trafficker pursuant to the Act was deemed to be a strong, necessary and appropriate response by the State Parliament to the damage caused to our community by the drug trade.
"Since that time there have been calls for amendments to this legislation, including by the DPP. In my view, a review of the Act is appropriate in order to identify unintended consequences and anomalies in the operation of the legislation.
"Wayne Martin AC QC is eminently qualified to weigh up the Act's competing demands of providing the strongest possible deterrent to would-be criminals without placing an unacceptable restraint on the rights of ordinary members of the community.
"The review will include examination of whether the Act contains adequate safeguards to avoid undue hardship, unfairness or injustice to respondents and third parties including spouses, de facto partners and dependents of respondents, as well as co-owners and mortgagees of confiscable property.
"The legal fraternity will be consulted by the review, which will also issue a call for public submissions."
Attorney General's office - 6552 6800