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No convictions under VLAD

VLAD, the government's illegal gang destroyer, has so far racked up no convictions.

Separate to the anti-association laws, which dictate who suspected criminal gang members can associate with, but often confused with it, the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment legislation is a sentencing tool.

In answer to a question on notice, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said "pending the outcome of the High Court challenge [currently in front of the court] there have not yet been any convictions for declared offences under VLAD".

"As at 30 June 2014, there were 44 defendants whose cases were still in progress," he said.

"These defendants are charged with declared offences under VLAD, where it is alleged that the defendant is a vicious lawless associate."

A jury must first judge a defendant as being guilty of being involved in criminal gang activities and have committed one of the 'declared offences', such as armed robbery, extortion and sex offences, set out by the legislation.

Identified gang members found guilty of a crime will receive a sentence for that offence, then a further 15 years mandatory imprisonment on top for their gang membership and a further 10 years if they are found to be an office bearer.

That means a gang member would receive at least 15 years mandatory imprisonment for crimes related to their gang membership, while sergeants-at-arms and the like would receive at least 25 years.

Lawyers representing a range of bikie gangs brought a challenge against the laws to the High Court, arguing they were constitutionally invalid and breached the notions of equal justice.

The High Court reserved its decision.