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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Statement re: High Court decision in Totani matter

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Statement re: High Court decision in Totani matter

    Comments below can be attributed to Queensland Attorney-General Cameron Dick:

    I have received advice that today's High Court decision will have no adverse impact on the operation of Queensland's Criminal Organisation Act.

    The Queensland Supreme Court plays a central role in our state’s criminal organisation laws. Supreme Court judges will have a discretion when it comes to assessing applications for declarations of criminal organisations and making control orders.

    This is completely different to the South Australian model where the Attorney-General, a member of the government and not the judiciary, is involved in issuing declarations of organisations.

    (ends)

    Extracts from High Court judgment, where the Chief Justice acknowledges the differences between Qld and South Australian laws (emphasis added):

    40. There are differences between the provisions of the SOCC Act relating to declarations and control orders and analogous provisions in other State and Territory jurisdictionsThe Criminal Organisation Act 2009 (Q) provides for the Supreme Court, on the application of the Commissioner of Police and in its discretion, to declare organisations and to make control orders.

    140. The operation of s 14(1) may be contrasted with that of the legislation the validity of which was upheld in Thomas v Mowbray. Section 104.4 of the Criminal Code (Cth) required, among other matters, that the court be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the making of the interim control order "would substantially assist in preventing a terrorist act" or that the person in question had "provided training to, or received training from, a listed terrorist organisation", these being offences under ss 101.1 and 102.5 of the Criminal Code. There was no anterior determination by the executive branch which was an essential element in the curial decision. The same is true of s 18 of the Criminal Organisation Act 2009 (Q), to which the Solicitor-General of that State referred. It conditions the power of the court upon its satisfaction that the respondent engages in, or has engaged in, serious criminal activity.

    Media contact: Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister 3239 3497