January 25
2021
Dolores Utrilla
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14th January 2021
Human Rights Justice & Litigation

Court of Justice: EU law prevents national rules allowing for confiscation of instrumentalities used to commit an aggravated smuggling offence but belonging to a third party

The First Chamber of the Court of Justice has just given its judgment in Okrazhna prokuratura – Haskovo and Apelativna prokuratura – Plovdiv (C-393/19), ruling on a request for a preliminary ruling on the compatibility of Bulgarian legislation with Articles 17(1) and 47 of the Charter. The Bulgarian legislation in question provides for the confiscation of the means of transport used to commit an offence of smuggling, even where it belongs to a bona fide third party, and prevents said third party from arguing the case before the court issuing the confiscation order.

According to today’s judgment, Article 2(1) of Council Framework Decision 2005/212/JHA (on Confiscation of Crime-Related Proceeds, Instrumentalities and Property), read

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