AUSTRALIA’S High Court has struck out a challenge to Queensland’s controversial anti-bikie laws.
The challenge was lodged by Hells Angel member Stefan Kuczborski with the support of the United Motorcycle Council, which represents 17 gangs, but it failed on two fronts.
First, the court did not accept Mr Kuczborski’s arguments that the laws were in effect too harsh, were constitutionally invalid, and breached notions of equal justice by restricting the association rights of motorcycle gang members.
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Second, they found he lacked standing to pursue a challenge because he’d never been charged with, or never indicated he was going to commit, any offence which would have exposed him to the laws.
The judgement ruled the laws did not impose restrictions on his freedom as he had not been charged with any criminal offence.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey said police would continue to pursue criminal gangs and dismantle their illegal enterprises.
“This Government gave police the resources and the tools they needed to effectively tackle organised crime and they have achieved amazing success in just one year,” Mr Dempsey said.
“In a little over 12 months, gang members have been arrested and charged with a raft of offences including murder, extortion and drug trafficking.
“The laws have also prevented further acts of public violence, stopped hundreds of kilos worth of dangerous drugs from reaching our children, driven gangs from their clubhouses and lifted the weight of fear from victims who were previously too afraid to complain to police.
“Since October last year, more than 1,500 gang members or associates have been arrested on nearly 4,200 charges and the reported crime rate across Queensland has dropped dramatically.” he said.
Solicitors-general from five states as well as the Northern Territory and the commonwealth argued in support of the laws, which were introduced following the Broadbeach Brawl in September last year.