Pre-Crime Control Measures: Anti-Association Laws
CRIMINALISATION AND CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY IN AUSTRALIA, T. Crofts, A. Loughnan, eds, Oxford University Press: UK, 2015
17 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2015
Date Written: June 24, 2015
This chapter examines criminal organisations legislation that has been introduced in most Australian states and territories to disrupt the activities of 'outlaw motorcycle gangs' and protect the public from violence associated with them. In particular, it analyses this legislation's criminalisation of acts of association between individuals. Such conduct is harmless in itself, but is criminalised for preventive reasons; that is, because it is considered to carry a risk of leading to future harmful acts by third parties and/or by the defendant him or herself. After identifying the principles that criminal law theorists have identified as being relevant to the permissibility of criminalising remote harms, and applying those principles to the anti-association offences, the author finds that these offences are insupportable. The various Acts provide for the criminalisation of some conduct that creates no risk of leading to future harmful acts by third parties and other conduct that does create such a risk, but where the defendant has not allied him or herself with that wrongdoing. Moreover, a person may be held liable for any of the anti-association offences even though he or she has neither embarked on the ultimate offence nor formed an intention to commit it.
Keywords: Criminalisation, association offences, remote harms, criminal organisations legislation, 'anti-bikie laws', Australia
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation