Queensland Law Society

QLS: Introduction of serious organised crime legislation a step forward

Date 13 Sep 2016
Contact Tony Keim
Phone 07 3842 5835
Mobile 0488 433 884
Email media@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society has commended the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s introduction of new legislation targeting serious organised crime as a step forward for the state.

However, Society president Bill Potts said QLS was keen to review the Bill before commenting further on the merits of the proposed amendments.

“The Society has advocated long and hard on the issue of serious organised crime, and I am pleased to see another step forward in this process, including the complete repeal of the VLAD legislation,” Mr Potts said.

“While we have not seen a draft Bill, QLS was pleased to be informed of policy aspects of the regime.

“Our police and judiciary in Queensland are hardworking and do a great job. These laws must be robust and enable our police and prosecutors the powers they need to keep our streets safe, whilst also taking into account the need for strong judicial oversight at all stages.

“A key issue to take into account is that the proposed Bill will also increase the volume of work for the Magistrates Courts, which are already in desperate need of further resources.

“Our magistrates and judges are overworked with heavy caseloads and too few appointments.

“They are at the coalface of the legal profession and deserve to have the resources required to serve justice for the community.”

The new laws will tackle issues including child exploitation, boiler-room fraudsters and outlaw criminal motorcycle gangs and will introduce new offences and increased penalties.

“This Bill incorporates key findings from the Byrne Commission and the taskforce report which the Society was pleased to have representatives a part of,” Mr Potts said.

“I acknowledge the Attorney-General’s focus on ensuring an operationally strong regime for police and the judiciary, and look forward to seeing the legislation and continuing our consultation throughout the parliamentary review process.”

If implemented, there will be an independent five-year review undertaken by a retired District or Supreme Court judge.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, media@qls.com.au.