Report

The High Court and the constitutional limits of anti-gang laws: in summary

8 Oct 2014
Description

This paper summarises the contentious issue of anti-gang legislation and whether it contravenes the implied freedom of political communication under the Commonwealth Constitution.

Introduction

On 8 October 2014 the High Court handed down its decision in Tajjour v NSW [2014] HCA 35 (Tajjour) in which the offence of consorting in s 93X of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) was held to be constitutionally valid. Specifically, it was found not to contravene the implied freedom of political communication under the Commonwealth Constitution. Tajjour is the latest in a series of cases relating to what can be described as anti-gang legislation in Australia.

The purpose of this e-brief is to update and summarise what has been a contentious and difficult area of the law for this and other States. It builds on earlier Research Service publications, notably e-brief 6/2012 “Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Bill 2012: the constitutional issues” and Issues Backgrounder 5/2013 “Anti-gang laws in Australia”. Note that only those legislative developments which have resulted in High Court cases are dealt with in this paper.

Publication Details
Published year only: 
2014
10
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