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Too little, too late on proceeds of Crime Bill.

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Duncan Kerr - Too Little, Too Late On Proceeds Of Crime Bill Tuesday, 24 July 2001

Too Little, Too Late On Proceeds Of Crime Bill Duncan Kerr - Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs

Media Statement - 23 July 2001

Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs, Duncan Kerr, today welcomed the Government's release of an exposure draft of the Proceeds of Crime Bill 2001, stating it was 'not before time'.

"While I welcome the exposure draft on this Bill, it has been an avoidably long drawn out exercise", Mr Kerr said.

"I introduced a Private Members Bill over 18 months ago targeting proceeds of crime. Labor asked that this bill be treated as an exposure draft for this important legislation. The Howard Government's total state of inertia on the Bill meant it simply fell off the Notice Paper.

"Had they acted responsibly and treated the Private Member's Bill seriously, laws dealing with proceeds of crime would now be in place," Mr Kerr said.

"Labor supports legislation to confiscate the assets of crime.

"However, the detail is important because judgements have to be made on the appropriate balance between society's right to attack the profits of those engaged in criminal enterprises (without having to meet the standard of proof required for proving matters in a criminal trial), and the respect for civil rights that our society holds dear.

"What is required now is a thorough examination of the details of the legislation. I would encourage wide community debate on this legislation to ensure we strike the correct balance", said Mr Kerr. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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