Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie. Kari Bourne

Bleijie's 'draconian' move to seize unexplained wealth

AN ELECTION promise by the LNP has been labelled as "draconian" by at least one civil liberties group on the eve of its return to Queensland Parliament this week.

The "Criminal Proceeds Confiscation" bill would push for courts to be able to take money from people it felt as having acquired the wealth illegally.

This amendment - from Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie - would allow police who have a "reasonable suspicion" someone was involved in a serious crime to push for the orders to be put in place.

It would not rely on them being convicted.

The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties described the legislation change as "unnecessary and dangerous" in its submission to a Parliamentary committee.

QCCL executive member Michael Cope said the new laws eroded the presumption of innocence with police able to put property or money at risk "on the basis of mere suspicion".

If it is followed by a Supreme Court "unexplained wealth order", the accused would have to prove their innocence - the state would not have to prove guilt.

"This legislation will effectively render every person in this state liable to be brought before a Court to demonstrate their assets are lawfully acquired," Mr Cope said.

"Such broad powers are liable to be abused or arbitrarily applied."

The Government believed the amended laws would target serious criminals and drug traffickers, but the court may opt to refuse an order if it deems it outside the public interest.

Those who may depend on the accused criminal given an unexplained wealth order may apply for financial help from the Supreme Court.



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