The introduction and implementation of non-conviction based (NCB) confiscation in the European Union: a comparative analysis

Gowitzke, Jill (2010) The introduction and implementation of non-conviction based (NCB) confiscation in the European Union: a comparative analysis. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Faced with rising crime and violence, selective governments recognised the need for an alternative solution to conviction and incarceration. The process of removing criminal assets without the requirement for a criminal conviction, i.e. non-conviction based (NCB) confiscation, provided an opportunity to target individuals usually beyond the reach of the judicial system, the so called “Mr. Bigs” of the crime world. NCB confiscation has since been described as the most effective modern day method of disrupting criminal activity, creating a global trend, also supported by the Financial Action Task Force. However, within the European Union (EU), it is reported that very few jurisdictions have adopted this approach to crime control. This issue is currently being examined politically within the EU Commission. This research shows that a large number of EU jurisdictions already have NCB confiscation within their laws. Nonetheless, it has not been introduced with a proactive objective to tackle crime, rather as a reactive measure to deal with ‘the dead and the fled’. This empirical study adopts a mixed method research design. It provides a literature review mapping the evolution of NCB confiscation, clarifying terms and debating key theories. A survey of prominent international and national confiscation experts in all EU Member States presents a comprehensive representation of the national adoption of NCB confiscation within the EU. Three Typologies of NCB confiscation are developed, with experts from each typology interviewed in order to identify the legal, political and moral obstacles for adopting NCB confiscation law. The study dispels the perception that NCB confiscation should lend itself more easily to common-law rather than civil-law states, suggesting that the traditional approach of using criminal law to tackle a criminal problem, together with a continued lack of understanding of the use of civil process to tackle crime is the real barrier.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:49
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:16

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