The fight against Queensland’s contentious anti-bikie laws heads to the High Court on Tuesday.
The United Motorcycle Council is funding this week’s legal challenge against the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment legislation on behalf of 17 gangs.
The laws prohibit bikies gathering in public and impose lengthy prison sentences on gang members convicted of crimes, among other measures.
Attorneys-general from five states and territories and the Commonwealth are backing the laws, which opponents say undermine the integrity of the courts and deny freedom of speech and natural justice.
The government continues to stand by its laws, with Premier Campbell Newman last week saying crime had dropped dramatically in the state thanks in part to its “strong laws” against sexual predators and criminal gangs.
If bikies win in the High Court it won’t be the first time controversial laws introduced by the Newman government have been overturned.
In December the state’s Court of Appeal ruled invalid laws that gave the attorney-general the power to keep the worst sex offenders behind bars indefinitely.
The anti-bikie laws were introduced last October after a public brawl involving dozens of gang members erupted in a Gold Coast restaurant and spilled onto the street.
Hells Angel member Stefan Kuczborski is the face of the High Court challenge, which has been set down for hearing in Brisbane on Tuesday and Wednesday.