confiscation

(redirected from Confiscation of property)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
See: appropriation, attachment, condemnation, disseisin, distraint, distress, escheatment, expropriation, foreclosure, forfeiture, garnishment, levy, privation, sequestration, taking

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 ?
Ambassador Al-Nafisee said that had the United Nations represented by the Security Council carried out its role, the suffering of the Palestinian people would have not continued for more than half a century of Israeli practices in the worst forms of killings, displacement, imprisonment, blockade, annexation, confiscation of property and looting of goods in order to destroy that people and push them to surrender, despair and feel frustration through exposing them to more oppression and suffering which is evidenced by the current Israeli practices designed for that goal.
If he fails to prove it, Munkevics can get a term of three to eight years in prison, with confiscation of property.
He also considers the confiscation of property, the "rules of engagement" for battle, the emancipation of slaves and the ramifications of international law, especially concerning trade and blockades.
A further hearing to consider confiscation of property to make up for the losses will be heard in December.
First Augustus clamped down on adultery, making it punishable by exile and confiscation of property.
Monaco's legislation allows for the confiscation of property of illicit origin as well as a percentage of co-mingled illegally acquired and legitimate property.
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.
If the proposed ban were enacted the consequences for Herpetoculture could be wholesale economic destruction and confiscation of property rights.
This adds to the problem of confiscation of property of those not present in the city.
Five persons were arrested, and one of them, said to be the principal accomplice of the killer, was given a life term and confiscation of property by a district court.
The charges carry a prison sentence of ten to 15 years with confiscation of property, or the death penalty - though there has been a moratorium on capital punishment since 1994.
He now faces confiscation of property, and up to 14 years in jail.