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Property forfeiture not appropriate for infringement offences

10 April 2018

The New Zealand Law Society says is does not consider that forfeiture of property is an appropriate legal consequence of committing an infringement offence.

In a submission to Parliament’s Environment Committee on the Conservation (Infringement System) Bill, the Law Society says the bill introduces an infringement system into conservation related legislation. However, it does not limit the consequences of infringement offending to a modest infringement fee.

“Rather, the bill provides for a combination of infringement fee and potential forfeiture of property, depending on whether a charging document is laid in relation to an infringement offence. The Law Society considers that it is inappropriate to provide for forfeiture of property to be a potential consequence of the commission of an infringement offence.”

The submission recommends that the consequence of committing an infringement offence should be limited to payment of an infringement fee of no more than $1,000. It says the forfeiture of property provisions are inconsistent with the fundamental principles underpinning infringement offence regimes and they should be removed from the bill.

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Last updated on the 10th April 2018