Jordan Carter blogs on asset forfeiture and commendably disagrees with the government's legislation.
I largely agree with him. I empathise with the desire to stop gangs living off the proceeds of illegal activity, but having the state able to confiscate assets not on the basis of convictions beyond a reasonable doubt, but suspicion of wrong doing by people not charged or even found not guilty is wrong.
Yes under this law one can be found not guilty of (for example) selling drugs yet the Government could take your house away all the same if it can make a case on balance of probabilities that you funded it from selling such drugs. And they could even take the house away before they even try you on the criminal issue.
So Jordan is right to oppose this. But one can only shake one's head at his concluding rationale where he says that the reason one should oppose it is because one day National may be in Government.
I guess that to some minds my comments might be seen as typical liberal paranoia. It's not quite that. I actually think liberals (of whom the Cabinet, for example, is largely composed) are posessed of a powerful assumption that everyone else is liberal too. In a liberal world, legislation like this would never be abused. The problem is that there is no guarantee that New Zealand will remain a liberal country, or that the criminal justice system, say under a future National / NZ First government, might not become considerably more conservative. And the prospects of abuse of these provisions would then rise…
Yes that's right. Jordan assures us that while Labour is in power, the Government is benign and liberal and would never ever use this power in an abusive way. Yes the left are holy saints who never sin, and the right are evil power hungry criminals who would abuse such a provision.
I mean a left wing Government has never abused its power. It is unheard of.