confiscation

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confiscation

the taking away of the property of another, usually by the state. In relation to the acquisition of land and the like for state projects, most systems have procedures allowing for appeal and always with compensation. Customs and Excise authorities can confiscate certain goods where the proper duty has not been paid. In criminal cases, confiscation or forfeiture is now much more common than once was the case, with statutory powers being available to penalize serious criminals in a much more effective way than handing out sentences of imprisonment. So it is now possible in the UK for drug dealers to lose the houses bought with the proceeds of their trade and for the getaway car in a bank robbery to be taken and sold. There is, of course, no compensation in such cases, but there is usually a right of appeal. European HUMAN RIGHTS LAW (see EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS) means that the right to property and if appropriate the right to a fair trial or hearing are taken into account. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has approved confiscation legislation which sets up a reverse burden of proof in non-criminal confiscation proceedings.

CONFISCATION. The act by which the estate, goods or chattels of a person who has been guilty of some crime, or who is a public enemy, is declared to be forfeited for the benefit of the public treasury. Domat, Droit Public, liv. 1, tit. 6, s. 2, n. 1. When property is forfeited as a punishment for the commission of crime, it is usually called a forfeiture. 1 Bl. Com. 299.
     2. It is a general rule that the property of the subjects of an enemy found in the country may be appropriated by the government, without notice, unless there be a treaty to the contrary. 1 Gallis. R. 563; 8 Dall. R. 199; N. Car. Cas. 79. It has been frequently provided by treaty that foreign subjects should be permitted to remain and continue their business, notwithstanding a rupture between the governments, so long as they conducted themselves innocently and when there was no such treaty, such a liberal permission has been announced in the very declaration of war. Vattel, liv. 3, c. 4, Sec. 63. Sir Michael Poster, (Discourses on High Treason, p. 185, 6, mentions several instances of such declarations by the king of Great Britain; and he says that aliens were thereby enabled to acquire personal chattels and to maintain actions for the recovery of their personal rights, in as full a manner as alien friends. 1 Kent, Coin. 57.
     3. In the United States, the broad principle has been assumed "that war gives to the sovereign full right to take the persons and confiscate the property of the enemy, wherever found. The mitigations of this rigid rule, which the policy of modern times has introduced into practice, will more or less affect the exercise of this right, but cannot impair the right itself." 8 Cranch, 122-3. Commercial nations have always considerable property in the possession of their neighbors: and when war breaks out the question, what shall be done with enemies property found in the country, is one rather of policy than of law, and is properly addressed to the consideration of the legislature, and not to courts of law. The strict right of confiscation exists in congress; and without a legislative act authorizing the confiscation of enemies' property, it cannot be condemned. 8 Cranch, 128, 129. See Chit. Law of Nations, c. 3; Marten's Law of Nat. lib. 8, c. 3, s. 9; Burlamaqui, Princ. of Pol. Law, part 4, c. 7; Vattel, liv. 3, c. 4, Sec. 63.
     4. The claim of a right to confiscate debts, contracted by individuals in time of peace, and which remain due to subjects of the enemy in time of war, rests very much upon the same principles as that concerning the enemy's tangible property, found in the country at the commencement of the war. But it is the universal practice to forbear to seize and confiscate debts and credits. 1 Kent, Com. 64, 5; vide 4 Cranch, R. 415 Charlt. 140; 2 Harr. & John. 101, 112, 471 6 Cranch, R. 286; 7 Conn. R. 428: 2 Tayl. R. 115; 1 Day, R. 4; Kirby, R. 228, 291 C. & N. 77, 492.

References in periodicals archive ?
He said that the points regarding the confiscation of property and proving one's own innocence were unconstitutional.
According to details Swat police investigation wing had awarded different nature punishment to six terrorists from the Anti-Terrorist Court which included life imprisonment, 25 years rigorous imprisonment and confiscation of property.
The Foreign Office official reiterated in response to a written question from Labour MP George Howarth on what powers are available to the UN-facilitated settlement process "to intervene in respect of the confiscation of property owned by Turkish Cypriots in Vasiliko in order to facilitate oil and gas exploration.
He faces 13 years of imprisonment and confiscation of property in his home country.
The bombings and the ongoing confiscation of property in areas south and west of Kirkuk, targeting all those who do not pay allegiance to the organization.
The court found the Bakiyev brothers guilty on a number of articles and decided to sentence ex-president Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his brother, the former head of the State Security Service Zhanish Bakiyev to life imprisonment in a colony with confiscation of property and deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or engage in certain activities for three years.
Warlick further offered advice for Bulgaria to pay serious attention to the law related to confiscation of property acquired through illegal activities, saying the US, Germany and Switzerland have very strong legislation about the freezing of assets of criminals, which can be released if the system fails to offer proof for the committed crimes.
Alternative punishments include fines, community work, lashes, control on freedom of movement, confiscation of property and preventing people from doing certain things like visiting sports clubs.
Referring to his election promise that the state government would ensure confiscation of property of corrupt public servants, and run schools there, Kumar said: "Applications were being filed by the prosecution agency in this connection.
vide for confiscation of property of corrupt public servants forthwith.
Ireland, for its part, has pledged heavy jail terms, big fines and confiscation of property for those caught smuggling refugees.
Ms Natalie Klein, solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia now studying at Yale Law School, who researched the deportations from Ethiopia, said the confiscation of property was significant.