The Legislation We Had to Have?: The Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2009 (NSW)
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
September 2, 2009
Current Issues in Criminal Justice, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 457-465, 2009
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/76
In the wake of several high-profile incidents of outlaw 'bikie gang'-related violence, including a fatal bashing at Sydney Airport, the New South Wales Government has introduced new laws to expand police powers relating to 'criminal organisations', membership, and association. This Comment provides a critical overview and analysis of the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2009 (NSW) (the Act), with reference to recent related legislation in other States and at federal level. The Act contains a number of problematic aspects, as it creates what are in effect status offences and makes compromises regarding conventional rules of procedure, proof and evidence. This Comment argues that the Act must be understood in the broad context of penal popularism and that it is symptomatic of the dominance of 'law and order' politics in NSW. Revealing a clear debt to anti-terrorism legislation, an emphasis on risk and prevention, and the curtailment of individual rights in the larger interests of security, the Act is an unfortunate if not unexpected step in the ongoing process of criminal law reform in NSW.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: criminal law, criminal gangs, anti-terrorism offences
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30
Date posted: September 3, 2009
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