Monday, July 17, 2006

"Procedural issues"

That's the explanation for the withdrawal of the government's Criminal Proceeds and Instruments Bill, according to spokesperson for the Minister of Justice I talked with today. No elaboration, no hint of which party might be raising those issues, and no answer on when or if the bill might be reintroduced to the House. Meanwhile, it seems that these "procedural issues" have arisen rather suddenly. The government included $8.8 million over four years to implement the bill in May's Budget, while around the same time, Associate Justice Minister Clayton Cosgrove was trumpeting the bill as an "important tool to combat those who are corrupt" which will "permit confiscation orders without the need for a criminal conviction" (which is precisely the problem). So, what's changed this then? While I don't want to see the bill revived, I'd like to at least know who sunk it, so I know who to thank.


It's not a party issue. The SOP they wanted to add was deemed to be outside of the scope of the bill by the Clerk (extending it to include international crime). So they withdrew the bill so that they could then have that part included. However, the Standing Orders prohibit a bill on a similar issue to another for a period of time (can't remember how long). But once that time is ellapsed, you will see it return (with a different name).

Posted by Anonymous : 7/17/2006 04:03:00 PM

One year. So, it'll be back in July 2007. Any idea whether they'd planned to deal with the human rights problems in any way?

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/17/2006 04:26:00 PM

Or maybe not. Standing Order 265 prevents the reintroduction of a bill which is the same in substance as a bill "that received, or
was defeated on, a first, second or third reading". There was never a vote (the bill hung around on the Order Paper for a year without receiving a First Reading), so it could possibly be reintroduced tomorrow.


Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/17/2006 05:19:00 PM

Confiscation of property without due process inevitably leads to abuse by those holding that power. Try getting your property back when all your assets have been seized! Pro-bono anyone?

Posted by Anonymous : 7/18/2006 10:17:00 AM