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Ontario (Attorney General) v. $29, 020 in Canadian Currency: A Comment on Proceeds of Crime and Provincial Civil Forfeiture Laws
Criminal Law Quarterly (2006)
  • Michelle Gallant, University of Manitoba School of Law
Abstract

Many provinces are embracing a modern approach to crime control, an approach which uses civil proceedings, primarily a device known as forfeiture, to tackle criminal activity. The strategy targets the financial underpinnings of crime, the proceeds or the assets linked to illegal activity. It effectively gives the public actor the ability to use civil actions to recover financial resources tainted by criminality.

New to provincial law, this convergence of civil proceedings and crime, of civil forfeiture and the financial element of crime, invites obvious questions about the consistency of this approach with constitutional norms. On the jurisdictional front, there is the question of whether the provincial location of the forfeiture device exceeds provincial legislative competence by intruding upon federal jurisdiction over the criminal law. Equally, there is the question of whether the use of civil devices to confront crime violates Charter rights.

As one of the first provinces to implement the civil strategy, Ontario’s modern approach is the first to be challenged for its consonance with the constitutional framework. Organized around this initial challenge, the decision of Ontario (Attorney General) v. $29,020 in Canadian Currency ($29,020 in Cash Currency), this comment proffers a critical examination of this contemporary drawing of civil processes into the service of crime control.

Keywords
  • forfeiture,
  • civil law,
  • criminal law,
  • jurisdiction,
  • Ontario (Attorney General) v. $29,
  • 020 in Canadian Currency ($29,
  • 020 in Cash Currency)
Publication Date
2006
Citation Information
Michelle Gallant. "Ontario (Attorney General) v. $29, 020 in Canadian Currency: A Comment on Proceeds of Crime and Provincial Civil Forfeiture Laws" Criminal Law Quarterly Vol. 52 (2006)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michelle_gallant/5/