Versita

MODELING THE PATTERNS OF CIVIL CONFISCATION: BALANCING EFFECTIVENESS, PROPORTIONALITY AND THE RIGHT TO BE PRESUMED INNOCENT

Skirmantas Bikelis
Keywords: Civil confiscation, proportionality, presumption of innocence, proceeds of crime ,

Abstract

This article elaborates on recent developments in modelling the advanced measure for prevention of organized and serious criminality and corruption – civil confiscation. It distinguishes and discusses the safeguards in civil confiscation patterns that are supposed to ensure the balance between the effectiveness and proportionality of the recovery of the proceeds of crime. Based on different sets of the distinguished safeguards, the article abstracts the variety of civil confiscation patterns in European national jurisdictions into three models and discusses the advantages and the risks the regulation based on these models may pose. The analysis is supplemented with the assessments made by the European Court of Human Rights in the cases related to civil confiscation regulation and insights of the practitioners who participated in the legislative proceedings on the draft of the Lithuanian law on civil confiscation. The article concludes with the thesis that some patterns of the civil confiscation may pose serious risks of disproportional or erroneous decisions to recover property and abuse of civil confiscation proceedings.