Qld Bikie Laws
Published on 25/10/2013
The recent laws passed by the Queensland Parliament concerning bikies do not constitute unlawful discrimination under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.
Being a ‘bikie’ or member of an outlaw motorcycle club is not an attribute or status that is given legal protection from discrimination under the Act. But regardless of this, Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Kevin Cocks believes the new laws warrant further discussion.
‘The recent laws passed, directed at bikies are at odds with some of the important human rights outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’, said Commissioner Cocks.
This international instrument provides rights to:
- freedom of association – everyone has the right to peacefully take part in meetings and to belong to groups
- freedom of expression-everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression
- equality before the law- the law is the same for everyone and should be applied the same way to everyone
- a fair trial- everyone has the right to a fair and public trial.
In contrast, the new Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act 2013, Tattoo Parlours Act 2013 and Criminal Law (Criminal Organisations Disruption) Amendment Act 2013 contain provisions that:
- target people on the basis of who they associate with, rather than for something they have done;
- limit the rights to freedom of expression through the display of club insignia;
- subject people to mandatory extra punishment above what would apply for the declared offence, including an additional 15 to 25 years imprisonment;
- and reverse the onus of proof.
The Parliament carries a great responsibility before passing legislation to ensure all our human rights, including the rights and liberties of all of us as citizens, are properly considered, debated and appropriately protected.
‘I am concerned that there has not been sufficient consideration and consultation of these fundamental principles by the Parliament, before these laws were passed’, said Commissioner Cocks.
Interviews: Commissioner Kevin Cocks
Contact: Mackayla Jeffries
Phone: 07 3247 0920