High Court Challenge for Queensland Bikie Law Reform and Bikie Rights

Queensland Bike Laws – Update on the latest Bikie Law Reform and Bikie’s Legal Rights

A challenge to the Queensland Government’s severe anti-association laws will be lodged in Australia’s High Court within weeks, with the announcement today that a high-profile legal team is to fight the legislation.

The legislation, introduced in October, gives unprecedented power to police to take action against individuals, even if they are not current members of motorcycle clubs. The laws even apply to someone who has met a club member socially, or to someone who was a member 30 or forty years ago.

Zeke Bentley of Brisbane-based Irish Bentley Lawyers will lead the United Motorcycle Council of Queensland’s challenge alongside Wayne Baffsky, the Sydney barrister who successfully defeated similar legislation in New South Wales.

Mr Bentley is the son of Walkley Award-winning investigative journalist David Bentley, who reported on corruption in Queensland during the Bjelke-Peterson years.

He agreed to take on the case because the laws erode the separation of powers in Queensland by empowering political interference into the administration of criminal justice, and expanding the State’s power over its citizens.

“Australia is a wonderful place to live and that is a direct result of the protections built into our constitution, and the separation of powers, Mr Bentley said.

Mr Bentley said whilst the government’s campaign is currently focused on “bikies”, the laws could be used as broadly as the government chooses.

“It is crucial that the public realises that these laws are not restricted to bike clubs or their members.

They apply to any group the government of the day decides to classify as unlawful, and they apply to innocent people who meet a member of an unlawful group socially,” Mr Bentley said.

“So, in Queensland, running into some bikies at the football or your kids’ school qualifies you to be thrown in jail indefinitely at the whim of the police or the government.”

Mr Bentley said the High Court challenge would address the important protections enshrined in Australia’s constitution, the separation of powers as well as the retrospective nature of the legislation, which applies to any Queenslander who has ever been a motorcycle club member.

“If you were in a club in 1965, even for a few weeks and haven’t ridden since, you are still subject to these laws and have fewer rights than anyone else,” he said.

“You can be jailed indefinitely for refusing to answer police questions, and cannot work in certain industries, such as construction and security.”

The United Motorcycle Council of Queensland has established a fighting fund for the High Court challenge, with donations able to be made at http://www.umcinc.com.au/.

For more information on Queensland Bike Laws contact:

Irish Bentley Brisbane Lawyers

Phone: +61 7 3891 3333
Fax: +61 7 3891 2033
E-mail: mail@irishbentley.com.au

39 Leopard Street

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