Queensland Law Society

QLS welcomes release of taskforce report into anti-bikie laws

Date 04 Apr 2016
Contact Tony Keim
Phone 07 3842 5835
Mobile 0488 433 884
Email t.keim@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society welcomes the release of the Taskforce on Organised Crime Legislation report in response to the state’s controversial “anti-bikie” laws.

QLS deputy president Christine Smyth said the report had been compiled by one of Queensland’s finest legal minds – retired Supreme Court justice Alan Wilson – and the Society will now embark on a detailed analysis of the report.

The report was commissioned by the Labor-led Palaszczuk Queensland Government when it took office in response to criticism by the legal profession of the LNP Newman Government’s controversial Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act (2003).

Ms Smyth said while the laws had been the subject of much fiery and heated public debate – particularly in the media – a fair deal of it was fuelled by large helpings of misinformation and speculation.

“We have been concerned that positions have been adopted without the benefits of the text of the report,” she said. “Upon release it is time for calm and considered review of the report.”

“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 will read Mr Wilson’s report thoroughly and make further commentary once our analysis is completed.”

Ms Smyth said it may take some time to digest and respond to the report as it is expected to consider changes to 17 separate pieces of legislation.

“The Society has always strongly advocated for evidence based legislation and policy,” she said.

“We have always sought to consult with the government and the opposition so that the legislation can be properly developed.

Ms Smyth said QLS was not consulted with respect to this legislation and the poor history of prosecutions arising from this legislation has been a testament to the haste in which it was drawn.

QLS has been supportive of the taskforce by providing two submissions and two members to the taskforce in conjunction with delegates from the Queensland Police Service and Union, Queensland Police Commissioned Officers’ Union of Employees, Bar Association of Queensland, Public Interest Monitor, Department of Justice and Attorney-General and Department of Premier and Cabinet.

ENDS

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