Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Cops Can Take Your Stuff"

That is the name of a disturbing article in the Winnipeg Sun by Mindell Jacobs.
To the surprise of at least one legal expert, the Supreme Court of Canada last week unanimously gave the provinces incredible powers to seize assets allegedly connected to crime.

For a country that has gained the reputation, whether deserved or not, of protecting the rights of the accused over the rights of victims, it's quite an about-face.


But the police have to persuade a judge that, on a balance of probabilities, the vehicle is connected to crime. And that's much easier to show than providing evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that someone is guilty of a crime.

In other words, if the police want your car, house, money or any other assets, they can get away with it without even arresting you as long as they convince a judge something doesn't smell right. No conviction necessary.

"It's kind of scary," says Gallant, an expert in proceeds of crime, who never thought Canada would embrace such wide-ranging legislation.

While the goal -- going after assets associated with crimes like drug trafficking -- is laudatory, it's an awful lot of leeway to give the government, she says.

Once again, count me surprised at developments in Canadian Law.

1 comment:

  1. The rule of law, who needs it anyways. I am sure the police would never make a mistake. Besides the police answer to someone, I think. You guys make this new law sound like a bad thing.