7.145   A number of Commonwealth laws may be seen as interfering with vested personal property rights.

7.146   In the constitutional context, the central issue is whether the particular interference by Commonwealth laws amounts to an ‘acquisition’ by the Commonwealth other than on just terms under s 51(xxxi) of the Constitution, which may lead to the invalidity of laws. For owners of property rights, actions through Commonwealth laws may not amount to an acquisition, so as to trigger the compensatory provision in s 51(xxxi), but they may nonetheless be regarded as an ‘interference’. Most of such concerns arise in the context of real property rights, which are considered in the next chapter.

7.147   With respect to personal property rights, the key areas of concern examined in this chapter have been the subject of recent reviews or extended consideration by parliamentary committees or the High Court. With respect to unclaimed money laws, these are the subject of an amending bill at the time of writing. 

7.148   The width of the proceeds of crime legislation is one area that may require further consideration. The 2002 Act provided for a review, which took place in 2006. The further expansion in 2015 suggests that another review of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) should take place in addition to ongoing scrutiny of the Commonwealth legislation by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement. As the expansion and coverage of this legislation was undertaken as a national initiative, with both the Commonwealth and states and territories involved, any such review would need to take into account the scheme as a whole and in light of its objectives to meet the obligations agreed to under the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.