Angels Motorcycle Club is challenging
the constitutionality of the state's
so-called anti-bikie laws in a move
expected to delay the attempt by police
to have the group declared a ''criminal
challenge, in the name of its former
Sydney president, Derek Wainohu, was
lodged yesterday in the High Court.
comes ahead of today's first court date
for the case that police brought to have
the bikie gang declared a ''criminal
organisation'' under laws enacted after
the airport brawl in March last year.
was expected to deal only with
preliminary matters today, but it is
expected lawyers for the Hells Angels
will seek a stay of proceedings until
the High Court has heard the challenge.
understood the group is challenging the
validity of the entire law - the Crimes
(Criminal Organisations Control) Act.
does not specifically target bikies.
Lawyers, civil libertarians and others
have warned it could equally be applied
to other groups.
Court is already considering a challenge
regarding similar laws in South
Australia, brought by the South
Australian government, which is seeking
to overturn a Supreme Court decision
ruling that state's laws illegal. The
High Court has reserved its decision.
The South Australian government was
seeking to have the Finks declared
illegal in that state.
laws were introduced after the brawl at
Sydney airport in which a Hells Angels
associate, Anthony Zervas, died.
lodged its first application under the
laws earlier this month. Following a
successful declaration against a group,
police can then apply to have individual
members stopped from associating with
Director of Public Prosecutions,
Nicholas Cowdery, has raised concerns
about the law, warning against an
erosion of people's rights.
allows the judge to hear certain
information, such as police
intelligence, in closed court and not
make that information available to the
targeted organisation or its lawyers.
did not wish to comment yesterday, but
said such a challenge was unprecedented