Anti-consorting laws trample basic human rights

Anti- Association laws are currently being debated in the Vic Parliament .  The Vic gov’t got rid of consorting laws a decade ago – They were regarded as unfairly criminalising those whose only crime was to associate & socialise with people with a criminal reputation.

Following other states the Vic gov’t introduced anti -association laws in 2012 to deal with bikie gangs . The Vic Gov’t introduced anti-association laws in 2016 , to deal with bikie gangs.

The new bill seeks to amend the law to deal with youth crime.   The opposition supports ant-association laws and says they will have no hesitation introducing even tougher laws with severe sentences.

The changes being introduced seriously erode basic rights we take for granted . They will particularly impact populations that are heavily policed including indigenous and African people.

Young person as young as 14 and without a criminal record are the new target of these laws. They will be subjected to police surveillance . They will be stigmatised . Sadly for some the notice will probably become a badge of honour and be the driver for them to offend. A breach of a notice to not associate will have serious consequences – up to 3 years imprisonment .

We have called on the Victorian Scrutiny and Regulation Committee ( SARC) to find the bill before parliament inconsistent with the Victorian Charter of Human Rights & Responsibilities, as they should .

See our submission  Youthlaw SARC submission – Anti- Association .. Bill 2018

See the joint submission by the Federation of Community Legal Centres, The Law Institute & the Human Rights Law Centre 180803_ALHR_HR_SARC_JusticeLegislationUnlawfulAssoc_FINAL (PDF)

If you want to join with others to oppose the laws see the Federation of community Legal centres website for details