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Wednesday, 6 June 1984
Page: 2658

Senator MACKLIN(6.10) —I move:

Page 14, after clause 20, insert the following new clause:

Orders relating to removal of property from Australia

'20A. (1) Where, upon application by the Authority, the Federal Court is satisfied that-

(a) there is a reasonable likelihood that, as a result of evidence assembled by the Authority, a particular person will be charged with a relevant offence;

(b) if the person is convicted of that offence he may, under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory, be ordered to pay a fine or compensation or be subject to an order for forfeiture; and

(c) that person has property in Australia which he is likely to remove from Australia in order to avoid the enforcement of any such order that may be made,

the Court may make such order as it thinks fit for preventing the removal of property of that person from Australia and the Court may, at any time, vary or discharge such an order.'.

This amendment concerns the removal of property from Australia and essentially it concerns the situation whereby assets are used by people in other ways. For example, while a person may eventually end up serving a period in gaol, at the same time he may have made an enormous profit, running into millions of dollars, which is in no way touched by his conviction or gaol term. In looking at this matter we were mindful of the mine field that we were treading in, particularly from the point of view of civil rights of any individual in relation to his or her property. Therefore, we sought to hedge around what at first blush looked like a pretty onerous operation with what we feel are satisfactory safeguards. One particular safeguard is that the court may vary or discharge an order-for example, if a person involved in a case has a debt overseas and requires the discharge of some property to enable him to service that debt. The second safeguard is that the court must be satisfied that the use of this power is necessary, so fairly wide discretion has been provided to the court and we believe that that discretion, which is contained within the court, would contain the types of safeguards necessary in operating what is essentially a procedure that is pretty close to a Mareva injunction.