Legal power issue: Bikie laws


  • South Australia v Totani 2010 (2009 in SC)
  • Introduced the Serious and Organised Crime (Control) Act 2008, which essentially forced judges to find bikies a member of a criminal organisation.
  • Challenged it in SC and HC, both ruled it unconstitutional as it interfered with the powers of the courts


  • Also, Wainohu v NSW 2011 overturned Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2009 in NSW


  • Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act 2013 in QLD
  • Challenged in Kuczborski v Queensland 2014 – HC reserved judgment so far



  • Mandatory detention/declares bikie gangs as criminal organisation and all members as criminals without reasonable evidence- separation of powers infringement?
  • Is the gov’t telling what the courts to do?
  • Freedom of associationhuman rights (ICCPR) infringement?
  • Hence, tension between rights to security and rights to liberty

Note: section 7 of VLAD states that:

A court sentencing a vicious lawless associate must impose all of the following offences:

15 years imprisonment without possibility of parole etc.



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