Matthew Killoran & AAP | 09:41am March 14, 2013
FINK’S lawyer Bill Potts says the police application to declare the Gold Coast chapter of the notorious bikie gang a criminal organisation “must inevitably fail”.
The High Court this morning unanimously upheld the Queensland Government’s Criminal Organisation Act, which is intended to prevent members of “criminal” organisations from associating with each other.
Police have already made an application to the Supreme Court to have the Finks declared a criminal organisation, but it was halted when the legislation was challenged in the High Court.
This morning’s judgement means Queensland Police will be able to proceed with their application.
Mr Potts said while the High Court upheld the legislation, the ruling would also make it harder for the police to prove the Gold Coast Chapter of the Finks were a “criminal” organisation.
“The application in its present form must inevitably fail and at the very least police must completely redraft the application,” he said.
He said police would now have to reveal more of their evidence, which previously would have gone before the courts in secret and unchallenged.
Meanwhile Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie welcomed the High Court’s decision.
He said the Criminal Organisation Act, combined with “unexplained wealth laws” currently before parliament, would give Queensland the toughest anti-bikie laws in the nation.
“It allows law enforcement agencies to get on with their jobs,” he said.
Pompano Pty Ltd, a company linked to the Gold Coast chapter of the Finks, had challenged the state’s Act, arguing it was unconstitutional and denied procedural fairness.
Mr Potts has said there was national interest in the case because it involved a constitutional challenge.
The case dates back to June last year, when Queensland Police filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking a declaration against the club and Pompano under the state’s 2009 anti-gang law.