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Bikies’ bid to overturn anti-consorting laws overturned by the High Court

Nomad Simon Tajjour.

Nomad Simon Tajjour.

A BID by bikies to overturn the NSW Government’s tough anti-consorting laws has been rejected by the High Court of Australia in Canberra this morning.

The full bench of the court ruled the laws are valid and rejected all aspects of the claim.

Under the laws it is illegal for known criminals to regularly associate with each other, punishable by a maximum penalty of three years’ jail.

The legislation was introduced by the NSW government in 2012 in a bid to ease growing violence involving bikie gangs and organised crime groups.

Nomads Simon Tajjour and Justin Hawthorne, who were arrested under the legislation, challenged the laws.

Charlie Foster, an intellectually disabled 21-year-old, also challenged the laws after he was jailed for consorting with petty criminals in Inverell.

“Today the High Court by majority upheld the validity of s 93X of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which makes it an offence habitually to consort with convicted offenders,’’ a statement said.

“The Court accepted that the provision effectively burdens the implied freedom of communication about government and political matters. But the majority of the Court held that s 93x is not invalid because it is reasonably appropriate and adapted, or proportionate, to serve the legitimate end of the prevention of crime in a manner compatible with the maintenance of the constitutionally prescribed system of representative government.’’

The case is the latest in a series of High Court battles between bikie gangs and state governments.

The High Court is currently considering a challenge to Queensland’s new anti-bikie laws.