Bikies clock up $1m legal bill challenging Newman Government’s VLAD laws in the High Court
- The Courier-Mail
- August 31, 2014
Seven judges of the High Court will sit in Brisbane on Tuesday to consider a challenge to the Vicious Lawless Association Deestablishment legislation and other laws.
The case has been brought by Hells Angels member Stefan Kuczborski, with the backing of UCMQ.
“We have spent every cent that has been raised to get to this point,’’ UMCQ spokesman and senior Rebel bikie gang member Mick Kosenko said. “It is a lot of money, but we know the State Government will be spending a hell of a lot more.’’
Mr Kosenko said about $100,000 had been donated through the council’s website, while other money had been raised by auctioning motorbikes and through social clubs.
“Everyone has chipped in. Everyone knows how very important this court case is, not just for motorcycle club members but for all Australians,’’ he said. “It’s about taking away people’s rights and liberties.’’
Under the VLAD law, bikie gang members and office bearers can face additional mandatory sentences of 15 to 25 years if they are found guilty of a range of offences.
Mr Kuczborski’s case is that the VLAD Act and some amendments to the Criminal Code by the Criminal Organisations Disruption Amendment Act and Tattoo Parlours Act, are invalid.
He claims they could apply to him as “a participant in the affairs of an association’’ and as a member of a deemed “criminal organisation’’.
“These laws weren’t written specifically for outlaw motorcycle gangs. They were written for any organisation the Parliament wants to destroy,’’ Mr Kuczborski’s lawyer said.
The High Court will determine whether Mr Kuczborski has standing to seek a declaration that the laws are invalid.
The State Government claims Mr Kuczborski does not have standing, as he has not been charged with or convicted of any declared offence.
His legal team will argue the laws are constitutionally invalid because they undermine Queensland courts and seek to enlist courts to “do the bidding’’ of the Queensland legislature and executive.
The Federal Attorney-General and Attorneys-General of NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory are helping to defend the laws.