find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Infrastructure Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Perth WA
· We'd be particularly interested to hear from you if you were a lawyer who knows your way around the infrastructure and energy sectors.
View details
‘Bikie bill’ threatens judicial oversight: SA Bar

‘Bikie bill’ threatens judicial oversight: SA Bar

Andrew Harris

The South Australian Government’s new anti-bikie legislation will remove a vital protection for legal rights, the state’s Bar Association has warned.

 In an email to the SA Bar Association membership, president Andrew Harris QC raised concerns about the Statutes Amendment (Serious and Organised Crime) Bill 2015, which is currently before parliament.

The legislation declares 27 outlaw motorcycle gangs to be “criminal organisations” with its members subject to restrictions, and gives parliament the power to amend this list with no judicial intervention.

Previously, the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to decide which entities were “criminal organisations”, Mr Harris said.

Mr Harris acknowledged organised crime was a serious problem, but expressed concern that the Supreme Court had been cut out of the process of identifying whether a gang came under the legislation.

“I, for one, support strong and innovative approaches to dealing with outlaw motorcycle gangs however that does not mean handing a blank cheque to the executive arm of government on the basis that the ends justify the means,” he said. “In some cases – and this Bill is one of them – they do not.”

In Mr  Harris’ view, judicial oversight over the executive could be undermined by the new regime.

“The provision for oversight of the executive by the judiciary in order that fundamental legal rights are not trampled was not an original thought of the parliament in 2008 when it enacted the first Bikie Act. To the contrary, the concept may be traced to an event which occurred 800 years ago today,” he said, referring to the anniversary of the Magna Carta.

If the decision is left to parliament, he suggested politics would “inevitably intrude” on which groups were included.

“How, for example, will the Opposition be able to challenge issues in the debate without being criticised as being soft on crime?”

He pointed to the legislation's inclusion of the Phoenix Motorcycle Club – which he described as a “gang of overweight accountants who consort with one another outside coffee shops on weekends” – as an example of how the decision-making process has already been compromised by politics.

 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

‘Bikie bill’ threatens judicial oversight: SA Bar
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Law Council of Australia
Nov 21 2017
LCA calls for urgent adoption of ‘game-changing’ recommendation
The Law Council of Australia has urged for the immediate adoption of a key recommendation put forwar...
Sally Wheeler
Nov 20 2017
ANU College of Law appoints new dean
A distinguished legal academic and the former head of law of a higher education institution in Irela...
Violence
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...