PROPOSED ``unexplained wealth'' laws are a lazy attempt at smashing Tasmanian bikie gangs and will only victimise innocent people, Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Greg Barns said.
That view is not held by the state Liberal Party, which yesterday supported the government's proposed crackdown on organised crime.
As revealed in The Examiner yesterday, the government in May will introduce laws that enable it to seize property and assets from people who cannot explain the source of their wealth.
If passed, it will be the first time that property seizures won't require a conviction in Tasmania and it will leave Queensland as the only state without unexplained wealth laws.
Mr Barns, a criminal barrister who has dealt with similar laws in other states, said the laws had caused injustices wherever they were introduced.
He highlighted the Northern Territory and Western Australia where "members of a person's family can essentially be kicked out of the home''.
"They create victims out of people who are completely innocent,'' he said.
The proposed bill is based on Northern Territory seizure laws, but does not go as far as confiscating homes and land merely because a crime has been committed, as has been reported to occur in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Tasmania Police have been pushing for the laws since 2008, attracted by legislation that doesn't require a conviction.
This measure makes it easier to target crime bosses who are usually removed from committing the offences they benefit from.
While the United Kingdom and Ireland have civil court forfeiture regimes, most of the world sticks to the need for convictions before seizing property.
Mr Barns said it was "appalling'' that someone could be slapped with an unexplained wealth order without first being found guilty.
"It's trying to smash the bikie gangs through the back door rather than actually going through the proper process of seeing if someone committed a crime,'' he said.
Attorney-General Brian Wightman said the goal was to disrupt and deter serious organised crime, which he has acknowledged is not on the same scale as interstate.
Tasmania has six bikie gangs - the Black Uhlans, the Outlaws, Satan's Riders, Devil's Henchmen, the Finks and the Rebels - with upward of 200 members and about 18 clubhouses scattered through the state.
In 2008, then police minister Jim Cox told a federal inquiry that organised crime in Tasmania extended to drugs, the fishing industry, car rebirthing, firearms, protection rackets, the security industry along with bikies.
Yesterday, opposition justice spokeswoman Vanessa Goodwin said Mr Wightman had been slow to implement the laws.
``Minister Wightman only has one speed - glacial,'' she said.
Both parties promised to introduce unexplained wealth laws in the lead-up to the 2010 election.