A High Court challenge against Queensland’s tough anti-bikie laws may be only one or two weeks away, a prominent Sydney barrister says.
A High Court challenge against Queensland’s anti-bikie laws is imminent, a barrister for motorcycle gangs says.
The challenge will argue that the laws, which riders say are an attack on their civil liberties, are unconstitutional.
Wayne Baffsky, a Sydney barrister who defeated NSW laws that criminalised the Hells Angels, is helping to lead the challenge, which he says may be only a week or two away.
He says it can’t happen soon enough.
“Too many people are suffering at the end of the day for laws which are in my view, and many other people’s views, absolutely unnecessary and brought in under a false premise,” he told ABC Radio.
“A relatively minor fight in Surfers Paradise has resulted in some incredibly harsh laws.”
A bikie brawl at a restaurant in Broadbeach last September sparked the anti-gang laws, under which 26 bikie gangs have been declared criminal organisations.
The laws also provide for longer prison sentences for gang members, restrict their ability to meet in public and ban them from working in some industries.
Mr Baffsky says the grounds of appeal may focus on the freedom of association and freedom of speech, which he says the laws infringe.
“The members of these clubs clearly oppose these laws but they can’t protest the laws or say anything about them because if any more than two are in public they get charged,” he told ABC Radio.
Mr Baffsky says his client is a Hells Angel bikie who has yet to flout the anti-bikie laws.
The High Court challenge will be funded by the United Motorcycle Council of Queensland, with donations from the public.
Mr Baffsky says $50,000 has been raised so far but at least $250,000 is needed.
Queensland’s government has said it is ready to fight any High Court challenge.