This article explores the dynamic by which once exceptional measures become normalised and then extended to new extremes.
Since September 11, Australia’s federal Parliament has enacted a range of exceptional measures aimed at preventing terrorism. These measures include control orders, which were not designed or intended for use outside of the terrorism context. What has followed, however, has been the migration of this measure to new contexts in the states and territories, especially in regard to what some have termed the ‘war on bikies’. This has occurred to the point that this measure, once considered extreme, has become accepted as a normal aspect of the criminal justice system, and has in turn given rise to even more stringent legal measures. This article explores the dynamic by which once exceptional measures become normalised and then extended to new extremes. It explores these issues in the context of the role that constitutional values have played in this process.