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Law firms should not be the law enforcers

12 September 2016

A new pilot scheme on seizing the proceeds of crime has the potential to jeopardise the fairness of already draconian legislation, argues Samira Noor Khan

In August, the Guardian reported that the City of London Police is to hire law firms under a pilot scheme to help seize the proceeds of cybercrime and fraud. While civil proceedings to recover the proceeds of unlawful conduct are not new, hiring law firms to conduct this process is.

The criminal justice system
is sorely underfunded and there
is no clarity about where the funding for this civil procedure will come from should the pilot be extended. Added to this are concerns around the lower burden of proof required to instigate the process and issues around accountability should private firms start to take over the role of the state.

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