“In 2009 the Canberra Liberals argued strongly for the need for laws similar to those in NSW to be adopted in the ACT. They argued the Government needed the power to declare organisations to be criminal gangs and to ban their members from meeting” Mr Rattenbury said.
“The ACT has dodged a bullet because if we had gone down the same path as NSW, we would have ended up in the same situation where the High Court struck down our laws.
“The Greens were wary of such an approach and were concerned that it created guilt by association and was an attack on freedom of association.
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“This ruling from the High Court vindicates the more considered approach adopted in the ACT.
“What the judgement says is that you cannot give judges the power to declare, without reasons, an organisation to be a criminal gang. That was held to be repugnant to the concept of judicial power because it conferred a non judicial function on the courts.” Shane Rattenbury said.
Six of the seven High Court judges ruled the NSW laws were repugnant to the concept of judicial independence under the Australian Constitution.
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