Theorising Asset Forfeiture in Ireland

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Various alterations to the Irish legal system have been effected in a bid to counter organised crime, the most radical of which was the introduction of civil forfeiture in 1996. This article examines the forfeiture process carried out by the Criminal Assets Bureau and seeks to analyse it from a theoretical perspective. Civil forfeiture may be regarded as embodying a move away from due process towards crime control, given the avoidance of traditional protections in the criminal process by its location in the civil realm. Moreover, the process may be characterised as an ‘apersonal means of tackling crime’, in which emphasis is laid on the non-moral and regulatory aspects of the law. This article further contends that civil forfeiture represents an adaptation to reality in which the State reconfigures the legislative framework so as to facilitate more readily the suppression of organised crime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-460
Number of pages20
JournalThe Journal of Criminal Law
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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