Critical and Comparative Analysis of the Emergence of Criminal Policies Focused on Property. Targeting Assets to Circumvent Evidence-Gathering Difficulties ?

For the past forty years, new criminal policies focused on property have emerged and considerably expanded on a global scale. The will of political and legislative bodies that “crime does not pay” has led them to adopt new instruments to fight unlawful lucrative behaviors. Hence, the trend has been to progressively focus on the deprivation of illicit assets rather than on the person of the defendant, yet sometimes at the expense of fundamental guarantees, through the implementation of freezing, seizure, confiscation and forfeiture mechanisms. Based on the study of the USA, the UK, Italy, Belgium and relevant supranational instruments, the dissertation purports to create a typology of asset recovery instruments. It then evaluates the tensions existing between said mechanisms and the fundamental guarantees afforded to the individual – i.e., the search for equilibrium between fighting crime efficiently and protecting the individuals.

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