Bikie crackdown is an overreaction - Legal expert
A QUEENSLAND legal expert has claimed the State Government crackdown on criminal motorcycle gangs is nothing more than an overreaction.
Professor Anthony Gray from the University of Southern Queensland said the tough new laws which are to be rushed through State Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 15) fly-in-the-face of the principles which the legal system had been built on.
"I suspect this could be an overreaction by the State Government," he said.
"Even the police privately say they already have enough powers to tackle the problem.
"Motorcycle clubs are portrayed as lawless thugs so they are really easy pickings for the State Government.
"If nothing else they are on a political winner.
"Whether they are needed is another question."
Professor Gray said the proposed new legislation throws up a plethora of legal questions.
"It brings up a host of issues such as presumption of innocence and the freedom of association," he said.
"These proposed laws are quite draconian and the powers will certainly be open to abuse.
"It is unfair and unjust to target particular individuals or groups."
Premier Campbell Newman and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announced the tough new laws targeting criminal motorcycle gangs as a result of the violent public gang brawls on the Gold Coast last month.
The new legislation will be the toughest in the nation and will also allow the government to seize and crush motorcycles under new anti-racketeering laws.
However, Professor Gray said it would only be a matter of time before the legislation is challenged in court.
"There is no doubt these new laws will be questioned," he said.
"There are parts of the legal fraternity that are very concerned by these laws.
"They fly-in-the-face of everything we are taught as lawyers."
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the State Government had arrogantly refused to provide her with a briefing on the new legislation.
Liberal National Party MPs were given a briefing on the legislation at 3pm today during a party meeting.