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Attorney-General says bikie laws will survive High Court challenge

Posted by: Ellen Feely & Heidi Murphy | 14 November, 2012 - 10:39 AM
Bikie gang

A criminal lawyer believes the proposed anti-bikie gang legislation will not survive a High Court challenge, however the Attorney-General says the laws will differ from those which failed in South Australia and New South Wales.

Speaking with Ross and John, criminal lawyer Rob Stary said the legislation criminalises associations rather than the conduct of individuals.

"The problem with the legislation generally though is that it won't necessarily be  confined simply to motorcycle clubs," he said.

"It can criminalise the membership of any organisation that's identified as a criminal organisation.

"You won't have to establish that there's been any criminal behaviour. Those people who have been members of motorcycle clubs throughout the country have said what you should do if you're concerned about the criminal conduct of people (who) associate with motorcycle (gangs), you deal with the individuals who engage in criminal conduct, not the associations."

However Attorney-General Robert Clark defended the proposed legislation, saying it would be different to the South Australian and New South Wales legislation which were found to be unconstitutional.

"(Our approach) is based on evidence put before the court. The gang or their members have the right (to) have their say and test the evidence," he told Ross and John.

"All of this is decided on evidence before the court and any legitimate organisation that's not engaged in serious criminal activity will not be subject to this legislation.

"We believe it will stack up." 

The legislation will give Police the power to take criminal bikie gangs, or their members, to the Supreme Court to have them officially outlawed.

The laws are expected to come into effect early next year and they mean if Police have enough evidence of illegal activity, the Court can outlaw a bikie gang. Members' activities can be restricted under the new legislation, with Police being granted the power to shut down club houses or ban the wearing of gang colours.

Premier Ted Baillieu said Victorians don't want criminal bikie gangs to flourish in Victoria, and this legislation will stop that from happening.

LISTEN: Criminal lawyer Rob Stary and Attorney-General Robert Clark speak with 3AW Breakfast:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • A new form of nationalism started by a clark again...with clarks in the police force and travelling australia for hettie the dis-allusined parent who didn't watch kids in her care..We now have an excess of the new aristocracy of moralism..The new guard family..ANTI SOMETHING OF SORTS ...MAINLY your CHOICE

    observer Friday 25 January, 2013 - 11:13 AM
  • These new laws are silly. They will push the motorcycle clubs underground and the clubs will start to form alliances and work together. These knee jerk laws are only so the government can give the impression they are actually doing something in law and order. There are already enough laws in place. With the new laws apply to the catholic church as well as they seem to qualify.

    Valda B. Thursday 15 November, 2012 - 4:40 PM
  • Bullshit Solomon. Crooks hang out with other crooks and that's what goes on with the gangs that have been identified by the authorities. You want to ride a bike? Then ride it. You don't need to belong to criminal gangs to do that.
    As for driving the crooks underground...THAT'S WHERE THEY ARE NOW you idiot. These laws are aimed at pouring poison down the holes they inhabit. You're either with us or against us. Tie a tourniquet around your bleeding heart.

    Eddy Thursday 15 November, 2012 - 3:37 PM
  • Guilt by association: A very slippery path for a civilised society.

    The onus of proof will necessarily have to be very strong, the judges making the decisions very wise, and the lawyers representing all parties very rich.

    Mylene: The boot is on the other foot - didn't the Catholics enthusiastically do something like this in the middle ages in Spain? Inquisition anyone?

    Target the individuals that are breaking the law based on what they are doing wrong, not what clothes or friends they associate with.

    Solomon's Sword Thursday 15 November, 2012 - 10:02 AM
  • Ted pulled the rug from under tafe now he's going for the bikies not all of them are criminals anyway. There is never any news of criminal activity within the gangs theyd need to have the evidence.

    mandy Thursday 15 November, 2012 - 9:38 AM
  • another ted the toff promise that will never happen.an appeal will be launched and upheld,ted knows it....

    garry Wednesday 14 November, 2012 - 10:38 PM

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