Fact sheet on the Civil Asset Recovery and Management Unexplained Wealth Bill

WHY IS THIS BILL IMPORTANT?

  1. It targets persons who find creative ways to hide the profit of crime
  2. Civil asset recovery has been used as a mechanism to address organised crime in other countries
  3. It has borne fruit in countries such as neighbouring St Vincent and Grenadines 
  4. It deals with the recovery of wealth accrued by criminals

 

WHO WILL MANAGE THE OPERATION OF THIS LAW?

  1. A Civil Asset Recovery Agency will be established to receive the assets
  2. The agency will be managed under trusteeship provisions and is the entity that the DPP can ask to receive an investigation. It is the agency that approaches the court.
  3. The agency will comprise of three trustees: the Civil Asset Trustee and two Deputies. The Civil Asset Trustee and one of the Deputies must be attorneys-at-law appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission
  4. The third person will be appointed following agreement by the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader
  5. If the PM and Opposition cannot agree on someone, the President will appoint someone
  6. The agency will be insulated from political interference and will have independent agents who from a protection standpoint will be ranked the same as a High Court judge, in order to shield them from ministerial and other interventions
  7. The trustee will be immune from criminal and civil suit and liability

 

HOW ARE CITIZENS RIGHTS PROTECTED?

  1. It is the Civil Asset Recovery Agency that goes to court with an order
  2. Assets are not automatically forfeited
  3. There can be no forfeiture unless the court give an instruction
  4. No asset forfeiture can be recommended until the DPP tells the Civil Asset Recovery Agency to approach the court
  5. Anyone with an interest in the property which is the subject of a forfeiture has the right to approach the court
  6. A police officer who is responsible for financial investigations may apply to the court asking for a preliminary unexplained wealth order
  7. The owner of the property in question has ample opportunity to explain their wealth

 

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO NOTE?

  1. There has been two and half years of public consultations on this Bill.
  2. The law does not require a special majority because it does not infringe any of the 3/5 rights.  It is a simple majority piece of law and is recognised as due process within the constitutional parameters.
  3. The law will apply to offences that existed prior to the law because the crime may be of a continuing nature
  4. There will be a Committee of the Whole of the House to examine the bill in full detail.

 

For more information check the following link: http://www.ttparliament.org/legislations/b2019h06.pdf

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