“Let 10 guilty go free, but not let a single innocent suffer” is a maxim of Law that is of great significance in jurisdictions across the World.
Criminal charges against a person and the treatment that follows is generally so gruesome that it is perhaps the greatest atrocity a government can commit against its citizens, if the person is actually innocent.
This is why legal systems around the world ban arbitrary grouping of people who’re to be subjected to stricter law enforcement. However, the Australian authorities seem to be throwing all that jurisprudence notes down the dustbin.
In 2013, the Parliament of Queensland in Australia passed the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act 2013. Among others, authorities have applied these VLAD laws on members of motorcycle clubs which fall within the list of 26 clubs prepared by them.
These VLAD laws are almost draconian in their substance. Civil rights and human rights of those subjected with these laws take a serious toll. Now, I’m not saying the authorities shouldn’t keep a watch out for criminals. They absolutely should. It’s in the larger interest of the public.
But that doesn’t mean that they should be allowed to harass innocent citizens just because they like to ride together in a club.
Members of these 26 motorcycle clubs, by the virtue of these VLAD laws, are subject to solitary confinement, mandatory sentencing, reversal of right to bail, reversal of right to innocence, and various other draconian effects. This is essentially equivalent to presuming that all members of these MCs are hardened criminals, if not worse.
Judges, academics, civil rights activists, human rights activists have all criticized these laws. The situation is made worse by the number of innocent people put at threat by these VLAD laws.
As many as 2/3rd (66%) members of most of the clubs in the list don’t even have any prior serious convictions. And that’s not even the whole of it. 7 of these 26 clubs don’t even have members with any serious criminal history.
What do you think about this absolutely abusive and harassing crackdown on motorcycle clubs? Do you think it’s justified in larger public interest? Let us know in the comments section below.