The Australian Lawyers Alliance has labelled the state government’s planned anti-consorting laws unconstitutional and submitted revised legislation for its consideration.
The government on Tuesday tabled legislation which would outlaw anyone with serious criminal convictions from mixing with someone who had also committed a serious crime.
A breach of the law would attract a written warning on the first instance and up to three years’ jail or a $25,000 fine on the second occasion.
A person who receives the official warning must seek an internal review within 28 days.
ALA state president Fabiano Cangelosi said the draft legislation was intended to prevent potential criminal activities undertaken by outlaw motorcycle gangs but the bill did not refer to them by name.
Instead, the law would apply to any adult with a criminal conviction though the definition of a serious offence would have to be tested.
"The proposed law, in its definition of ‘convicted offenders’, is so wide that it will be ripe for abuse, as has occurred in other Australian jurisdictions," he said.
“It is attack on fundamental liberties and will expose a vast group of people to the risk of abuse of police power.”
Mr Cangelosi said the state’s court system could be burdened by numerous appeals and the state government might end up in the High Court of Australia on constitutional grounds.
He said the association had been informed by some outlaw motorcycle clubs that up to 97 per cent of members would not be affected by the law if introduced given the definition of a serious offence.