SA’s top lawyer to help Queensland defend
High Court bikie challenge
DANIEL WILLS STATE POLITICAL EDITOR
August 31, 201410:18PM
SOUTH Australia will dispatch its
Solicitor-General, Martin Hinton QC, to help defend a Hell’s
Angel-led High Court challenge against Queensland’s anti-bike
laws, amid fears the case could have significant ramifications
for the state’s own anti-association regime.
Seven judges of the High Court will sit in
Brisbane this week to consider a challenge to more than a dozen
sections of the Queensland anti-bike laws.
It is part of a challenge by Hells Angel Stefan
Kuczborski that has backing of the state’s United Motorcycle
The Vicious Lawless Association De-establishment
legislation imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’
imprisonment with no parole on criminals who commit “declared”
offences and are unable to prove the group they belong to is not
established for organised crime.
Other new laws ban members of organisations
declared by the government to be criminal from gathering together in
public places. Anyone who displays their membership of a declared
group, including by wearing colours, faces a mandatory minimum
sentence of six months’ jail.
Mr Kuczborski’s challenge centres on the claim
that the laws undermine a constitutionally-protected independence
and impartiality of courts of law, a similar argument to that which
led to the rewriting of SA’s laws following a
successful bikie-led challenge in
SA Attorney-General John Rau was forced to rewrite
his government’s laws to give the courts more discretion and remove
politicians from the process of declaring outlaw gangs.
SA, NSW, WA, Victoria and the NT are all
supporting Queensland’s laws and some have indicated they will
consider toughening their existing regimes if the challenge is
SA’s Acting Attorney-General Ian Hunter said the
state was prepared to consider changing its laws if regulations in
other parts of the country were shown to be effective and legal.
“A ruling against the validity of the Queensland
laws may have implications for South Australia’s current
legislation, therefore it is in our interest to provide whatever
support is necessary to the Queensland Government on this issue,” he
told The Advertiser.
“The Solicitor General will be attending the High
Court to argue the case on behalf of SA.
“SA has been a leader when it comes to laws that
target outlaw motorcycle gangs and we will continue to work with the
other States on a collaborative approach.
“We will also continue to observe the
effectiveness of other states’ laws targeting criminal gangs.
“If certain measures are proven to be particularly
effective, we will consider adopting them.”
SA has already followed one controversial
Queensland anti-bikie measure and promised during the state election
campaign to ban gang members and associates from operating tattoo
The legislation is yet to be passed by State