The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) is the main instrument for tracing, restraining and confiscating
the proceeds of federal crimes in Australia. In light of amendments to the Act in 2011 and 2012, and the
establishment of the Joint Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce, it is anticipated that litigation pursuant to the
regime will increase. Increasingly, too, the Act is being enlivened as a civil regulatory response to alleged tax
evasion. At the same time, the Act, and especially the recent amendments, have attracted criticism. Part 1 of this
article traces the development of the federal law of forfeiture of criminal property in Australia up to and including
the most recent amendments to the Act. Part 2, which will be published in the April issue of this journal, will
explore the operation of the provisions as a civil regulatory response to tax evasion.