Photo of Colin King

Colin King
Senior Lecturer (Law)
T: +44 (0)1273 872923


Organised crime, corruption, etc, are seen as significant threats to society. Conventional law enforcement strategies are now supplemented by ‘follow the money’ approaches, to target the accumulated financial assets of those engaged in criminal activity. This can be seen in the (UK) Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the (Irish) Proceeds of Crime Acts 1996-2005.

My research interests primarily focus on the use of civil recovery (NCB forfeiture). To date, my research has centred on the Irish legislation governing NCB forfeiture and the multi-agency Criminal Assets Bureau. The Irish model of NCB forfeiture has influenced many other jurisdictions, and a report prepared for the US National Institute of Justice (October 2011) identified Ireland as a model of international best practice.

Having moved to the UK in 2009, I turned my attention to UK approaches in this area, including the Supreme Court decision in SOCA v Gale [2011] upholding civil recovery powers.  Increasingly, I am adopting a comparative approach looking at developments in, amongst others, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Italy, Romania, as well as the European Union.

I am currently analysing civil recovery from a systems-theoretical perspective (with Dr Jen Hendry, Leeds).    

I am Principal Investigator in an AHRC-funded research network (2014-16) entitled ‘Dirty Assets: Experiences, reflections, and lessons learnt from a decade of legislation on criminal money laundering and terrorism financing’ (co-Investigator: Prof. Clive Walker, Leeds). This network builds upon a previous Symposium on ‘The Confiscation of Assets: Policy, Practice and Research’ (funded by the Modern Law Review) and an edited collection ‘Dirty Assets: Emerging Issues in the Regulation of Criminal and Terrorist Assets’ (Ashgate, 2014). This network will bring together policymakers, practitioners and researchers (from different disciplinary perspectives) to discuss the impact of legal responses to ‘dirty assets’.