Criminal Assets Bureau: Law and Practice


The first book to offer a detailed analysis of both the law and operational approach of the CAB in Ireland.


Authors: PJ Ryan | ISBN: 9781911611639 |  Format: Paperback | Extent: Approx 350 pages |  Price: €75 | Publishing:  Sept/Oct  2021


Criminal Assets Bureau: Law and Practice explores the development of a new model of criminal justice in Ireland, one that targets the financial base of crime rather than the criminal actor.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was established in Ireland during a time of crisis to target specific aspects of criminality. Since its establishment, some 25 years ago, it has become a key part of the Irish criminal justice system.

The CAB has a unique structure and approach, with legislative options operating in the civil domain and results achieved in denying criminality the proceeds of crime. There has been widespread acceptance of this radical new model of criminal justice, much of which can be attributed to denying criminality the proceeds of their criminal activity.

Criminal Assets Bureau: Law and Practice considers each of those factors by offering a comprehensive policy and procedure based analysis of the background development of the structures underpinning CAB. It goes on to consider the legal framework of CAB, its operational boundaries established through case law and its multi-agency nature. It is this bringing together of multiple agencies into a single multi-agency structure to deploy powers of forfeiture, revenue and social welfare against targeted individuals that is key to its operational prowess.

Criminal Assets Bureau: Law and Practice is the first book to offer a detailed analysis of both the law and the long term operational outcomes achieved in each of these key areas. It is the interplay between these areas operating in the civil law realm that makes CAB unique and a transformative model.

Contents Include


  • Conceptual framework
  • The crime control continuum
  • Seizure and forfeiture
  • Operational structures
  • The CAB approach in context
  • A new departure

Chapter 1: Theoretical Foundations of the Modern Criminal Justice Environment

  • Governance
  • Criminal law safeguards and the flow to civil power
  • The non-individualised approach
  • Managing systemic risk
  • Framework for change

Chapter 2: Criminal Law as an Operational Concept

  • What is criminal law?
  • Indicia of a crime
  • Legislative interpretation
  • Administrative sanctions
  • Reconstituting real crime: the regulatory and white collar vortex
  • A middle-ground system of justice

Chapter 3: Forfeiture and Seizure

  • Forfeiture the historical context
  • The traditional use of forfeiture
  • Forfeiture and illegal drugs
  • Forfeiture and legislative interpretation
  • The importance of forfeiture as a precursor to the CAB model
  • The Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act 1985
  • Forfeiture a crime control measure
  • The influence of United States legislation on Irish forfeiture provisions
  • International influence on the development of Irish forfeiture
  • Criminal Justice Act 1994
  • Restraint orders
  • Confiscation orders
  • Forfeiture orders
  • Challenges to the legislation
  • Structure established to support the emergence of CAB

Chapter 4: Structure of CAB and Legislative Options

  • Establishment of the Criminal Assets Bureau
  • A new type of agency
  • Functions of CAB
  • Search warrants
  • Staffing of CAB and the multi-agency approach
  • Anonymity of CAB officers
  • Application of the anonymity provision
  • Funding of CAB
  • Revenue and social welfare matters
  • The Proceeds of Crime Act
  • Orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act
  • Acceptance of the new model

Chapter 5: CAB and Confiscation – The Operational Approach

  • Divisional criminal asset profilers
  • CAB and the community
  • CAB as an investigative agency
  • CAB and specialised training
  • CAB: the business case
  • The GWD test
  • Operational approach of GWD
  • CAB and reparation
  • Partnership approach
  • CAB, proceeds of crime and the criminal/civil divide
  • The exclusionary rule and proceeds of crime
  • Cryptocurrency
  • CAB and governance
  • CAB as an established component of the Irish criminal justice system

Chapter 6: CAB and Revenue – The Operational Approach

  • The taxation of illegal assets
  • Consideration of the Irish position
  • Statutory developments
  • Revenue and CAB – The monetary results
  • Boundaries of tax assessments
  • Operational width
  • Tax assessment and the appeals process
  • Judicial scrutiny
  • Tax as a crime control measure

Chapter 7: CAB and Social Welfare – The Operational Approach

  • The legislative underpinnings
  • Social welfare and CAB – results achieved
  • Appeals
  • Recent cases
  • Culmination of the tri-part approach

Chapter 8: CAB at 25 Years’ Old

  • Creating a new model
  • Measuring results

Who Should Buy This Book?

Criminal Assets Bureau: Law and Practice will be of benefit to both law and criminal justice scholars and a wide variety of readers interested in governance, societal protection, law, legal reform and policy makers.

About the Author

Dr PJ Ryan is a Lecturer in Law at the new Technology University of the Shannon, Midlands Midwest, having previously lectured at Limerick Institute of Technology.



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