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Journal cover: Journal of Money Laundering Control

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Online from: 1997

Subject Area: Accounting and Finance

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General characteristics of civil forfeiture

Document Information:
Title:General characteristics of civil forfeiture
Author(s):Nikolay Nikolov, (Legal Department of Sofia University, “St Kliment Ohridski”, Sofia, Bulgaria)
Citation:Nikolay Nikolov, (2011) "General characteristics of civil forfeiture", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 14 Iss: 1, pp.16 - 31
Keywords:Civil law, Criminal forfeiture, Legislation
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/13685201111098851 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This paper attempts to clarify and describe the general characteristics of civil forfeiture as a new national and international tool in the fight against organized crime.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper analyzes and compares the civil forfeiture legislations of five counties – the USA, Great Britain, Ireland, Bulgaria and Serbia and draws conclusions on the general characteristics of this legal phenomenon.

Findings – There are substantial differences between criminal and civil forfeiture which set the latter apart as an independent legal phenomenon. Unfortunately, few countries have effective legislations which regulate this tool for fighting organized crime. The importance of civil forfeiture lies in the fact that it shakes the economic foundations of organized crime using the methods and procedures of civil and administrative law even, in some countries, after the court has issued a verdict of “not guilty”.

Originality/value – The paper stresses the importance of international laws and regulations for the unification and development of national civil forfeiture legislations. The paper proposes that one way to develop civil forfeiture is to strengthen the imperative nature of EU legislation; to present annual reports at national and EU level before the EU Parliament and national parliaments proposing measures for the development and acceleration of the process; to turn CARIN into an EU institution. The paper also emphasizes the importance of the decisions of the Strasbourg court as standards for the application of civil forfeiture legislation.

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