Bikie law declared invalid as
Hells Angel wins challenge
June 23, 2011 - 12:23PM
Court success ... Derek Wainohu launched the
bid in 2010. Photo: Kate Geraghty
scored a victory over the NSW government,
securing a High Court ruling that a tough law
designed to break up their clubs is invalid.
In an 83-page
judgment, the High Court ruled today that a
Hells Angel's challenge had been successful and
the NSW law had been declared invalid, a
registrar at the High Court in Canberra said.
Attorney-General's office confirmed the
government introduced the Crimes (Criminal
Organisations Control) Act in 2009 following the
death of Hells Angel associate, Anthony Zervas,
during a violent brawl at Sydney Airport.
The law allowed
the police commissioner to ask a NSW Supreme
Court judge to declare bikie gangs criminal
organisations and then seek control orders
banning individual members associating with one
Derek Wainohu, a
prominent member of the Hells Angel Motorcycle
Club, launched a bid in 2010 on behalf of Sydney
chapters of the club to have the law declared
Mr Wainohu's case
hinged on the argument that the Crimes (Criminal
Organisations Control) Act infringed individual
liberty and undermined the integrity of the NSW
The law was
introduced to the state parliament by former
Labor premier Nathan Rees on April 2, 2009,
about one month after Mr Zervas's death.
was based on similar laws in South Australia,
parts of which were declared unconstitutional in
A spokesman for
NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith said: "We
acknowledge the court's judgment and we'll be
examining the verdict."
He declined to
The court ordered
NSW police to pay Mr Wainohu's legal costs.
lawyer, Wayne Baffsky, has previously said it
was extremely important that the Hells Angels'
legal challenge succeeded.
has the potential to destroy lives, both
individual and family," he said in a statement
when the challenge was launched.
"It also has the
potential to destroy democratic society if