When the Queensland government introduced its anti bikie laws it by-passed all the usual safeguards against bad law by passing them through the Parliament on the same one day.   The laws labelled bikies to be “vicious lawless associates” and declared bikie clubs to be criminal organisations.  The laws also introduced unprecedented mandatory prison terms of 15 to 25 years (to be served in prison without parole) added to any ordinary term of imprisonment imposed by the courts for bikies convicted of a broad range of offences.

The laws also amended the Bail Act to deny bikies the presumption in favour of bail and instead requiring the courts to refuse bail to bikies unless they can show why their imprisonment is not justified.  The grant of bail is ordinarily recognised by the courts as an important process in civilised societies which reject any general right of the executive government to imprison a citizen on mere allegation or without trial.

Faced with the devastating implications of these draconian laws many members of bikie clubs have resigned their club membership.

These mass resignations have achieved the government’s objectives of “disestablishing” bikie clubs as set out in the “Vicious Lawless Disestablishment Act 2013.”

The question now is whether the government wanted to introduce ‘reforms’ to improve community safety or whether it is conducting a witch-hunt on bikies.

It was legal to be a member of a bikie club in Queensland before 17 October 2013.  Appropriately the government stated that these laws only apply to people committing offences after 17 October.

On Friday 8 November a Supreme Court Judge interpreted the new anti bikie bail laws to mean that they only apply to people who were bikies at the time of making their bail application not to anyone who has been a bikie at any time in the past.  People who have resigned their membership of a bikie club (and who are not a participant in another criminal organisation) should therefore be entitled to the usual presumption in favour of bail.

If the government amends these laws to apply to people who were bikies in the past (when it was not illegal) it will expose its agenda to wield the power of its vast Parliamentary majority to enhance its popularity with total disregard for the Rule of Law.