High Court challenge expected for new bikie laws
A UNIVERSITY of Southern Queensland law professor has criticised the State Government's new bikie laws for "trampling on fundamental human rights".
Professor Anthony Gray said a High Court challenge to the laws was very likely, but not sure to succeed.
"In Australia, we generally believe that people have the right to associate with whom they wish," he said.
"Now if three members of these declared motorcycle clubs happen to meet up for coffee, that is actually a crime..."
Mandatory sentencing for bikies who refuse to inform on other members has also drummed up human rights issues for Prof. Gray.
So has the concept of minimum 15-year sentences for members, and 25 years for office-holders.
The Australian Motorcycle Council has started a fighting fund to mount a High Court challenge to the new laws.
"The right to silence has been a belief in the Common Law system for about four centuries," he said.
"It's very likely to be challenged in the High Court.
"The High Court has struck down so-called bikie legislation in South Australia and New South Wales ... but a challenge to the Criminal Organisation Act (2009) was dismissed earlier this year," Prof. Gray said.
"A couple of weeks ago, the High Court declared by a majority that minimum mandatory sentencing was constitutionally okay.
"Given that they said that two weeks ago, it's going to make it difficult to challenge these grossly unfair minimum jail terms."