QLS applauds 'anti-bikie' law reform efforts
The Queensland Law Society has welcomed the release of a report in response to the state's controversial 'anti-bikie' laws and the announcement of extra police funding to help fight organised crime, but flagged the need for more legal funding.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Alan Wilson has compiled a report, Taskforce on Organised Crime Legislation, which was commissioned by the Labor-led Palaszczuk Queensland government when it took office.
It has been released in response to criticism by the legal profession of the Liberal National Party Newman government’s controversial Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act (2003).
“We know there’s been a great deal of public debate and discussion, particularly during the taskforce’s review of the VLAD laws, much of which was based on pure speculation,” QLS deputy president Christine Smyth said.
“We have been concerned that positions have been adopted without the benefits of the text of the report.”
The society has announced that it is going to undertake a detailed analysis of the report, which is expected to consider changes to 17 separate pieces of legislation.
QLS has also applauded the state government’s $20 million commitment to fight organised crime as part of the proposed 'anti-bikie' law reforms.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also announced on Monday a further $12.1 million in additional resources would be provided to the Office of the DPP and $5.3 million to establish an independent crime statistics body to collect data and monitor organised crime activities.
However, Ms Smyth said the increased funding to the DPP would result in a greater workload for the courts, as well as place stress on Legal Aid Queensland.
“This is an obvious opportunity for the state government to set out clearly what its intentions are to supply greater levels of funding to legal aid," she said.
“Even without the likelihood of more people being charged, the courts are already stretched to breaking point, as is legal aid."