Via, a decent court ruling.
The case stated raised four questions for consideration by this court. Having analysed the issues, this court considers that the four questions in essence amount to one question: in a case of cash forfeiture does a customs officer have to show that the property seized was obtained through conduct of one of a number of kinds each of which would have been unlawful conduct or is it sufficient for the officer to point to criminal conduct of an unspecified kind?
Applying the provisions of section 242(2)(b) of the Act, our answer to the question is as follows: in a case of cash forfeiture, a customs officer does have to show that the property seized was obtained through conduct of one of a number of kinds each of which would have been unlawful conduct.
Of course, it still doesn\’t go far enough. The idea that the State can just take your stuff because you\’ve been a naughty boy, rather than levy a specific fine for a specific crime, is a foul and vile blot on a free society.
Yet at least now they\’ve got to show that you\’ve been a naughty boy in a specific and illegal manner rather then stealing your stuff just because the h\’officer is sure you\’re a bad\’un.
The opinion that “It is most unfortunate that the court was not more clear cut in its findings”, is delightfully reminiscent of the way in which Sir Humphrey communicated to Bernard “You are making a total balls up of your job”, when he allowed Jim Hacker to start to get a grip on the DAA.
You might want to fix up the links there Tim, they’ve kind of exploded all over the place.
I’m not sure I agree with you here Tim. Take the facts of this case. A lady is found with a substantial amount of cash coming from abroad. She is asked to account for it but tells lies. She has not had a crime alleged against her, but suspicion is aroused that the cash is the proceeds of crime (in this case more difficult to prove because the money is from abroad), and is confiscated. Due process is followed and, on appeal, she wins and the cash is returned. This is not an arbitrary process but one of the law being properly applied. Ah, but the real issue is that you do not agree with the policy of confiscation. It is an arguable policy, and I could play devil’s advocate for either side, but it is the law. I agree with the rule of law – even if I do not always agree with the particular law.
There are unjust laws as there are unjust men, the world is not unmade because of this. Unjust laws must be disobeyed as unjust men must be fought, even if they are wrapped in the clothes of law and statute.
Arbitrary confiscation without proof of criminal origins is an offense against both property and the person.
It has no business in a free society and only goes to prove how unfree we have become.
Let Atlas Shrug and the world begin anew.
Forfeiture is thieving by officials, law or not. How much did it cost her to get her money back?
If she had lost she would not get the cash back and have to pay costs.