Freedom of Association & Human Rights

| June 17, 2009

The so called "Bikie Legislation" leaves the door open to very dangerous and serious misuse and abuse of police power, particularly when people can be charged with a criminal offence "on the balance of probabilities". 

I would like to share my concern regarding the so called "Bikie Legislation". 

I wonder how many others realise that the new Laws can apply to many people outside of a "Bikie" profile? Via the police and media we are led to believe that the laws only affect bikie gangs, however if you look closer you will find that the laws extend to any particular organisation at the behest of the Police Commissioner of the States that passed these Legislations (SA, NSW, QLD). 

Athough (and with respect) it may not be the intention of the powers that be, but I feel it does leave the door wide open to very dangerous and serious misuse and abuse of police power, particularly when people can be charged with a criminal offence "on the balance of probabilities". 

Most disturbing here is the reverse "Onus of Proof" and the dis-regard to natural justice.  A person so affected is deemed guilty and then must prove his innocence.  This would be extremely difficult when the alleged evidence against him is all a big secret under the guise of "Criminal Intelligence", ie: How can one argue a case against them if they don’t know what they’re arguing about.  Also, who knows if the "evidence" hasn’t come from, say, an aggrieved spouse, or someone else that just wants to stir up trouble!  All of this diminishes the right to a fair and just trial/hearing.  The person can then be issued with a Control Order which could (reasonably) be considered as a form of Deprivation of Liberty as it would have a direct effect on a persons Freedom to Associate and/or participate/communicate. 

Under these new Laws a person will be found guilty simply for associating because the powers that be have decided that if you talk to a particular person more than 5 times, then on the 6th occasion (of communication) you were "probably" discussing or planning something illegal and so you may find yourself in jail for up to 5 Years!  How Bizzare! 

Personally I see this as a cruel, very unAustralian and degrading form of treatment/punishment. 

Did any of them (the Legislators) have regard to the misery and instability inflicted by this forced isolation from ones peers, extended family, not to mention their employment as it stands or prospects of future employment?  The ramifications of this are that it has the potential to greatly reduce a persons own means of subsistence. 

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976 ATS 5) , Part 1, Article 1(2), states that

"In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence". 

Along with this Covenant and also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1980 ATS 23) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I find there are many articles that are breached by these new Legislations.  Australia has ratified these 2 Covenants (among others), so, if they proclaim to uphold these rights on an Interenational level, then why can’t they uphold these rights in their own country. 

I believe that Australia should have some form of Charter/Bill of Rights so that all Australians will be honoured and protected regardless of the walk of life they come from.  This is simple recognition of the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of ALL members of the human family and is the BASIC foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. 

Sandie Perry was born in Australia in 1962 and as far back as she can remember she has had a passion for motorcycles, especially vintage/classic styles.  The one in the pic is a 1941 Indian Scout.  She has had a few different bikes over the years and now has a 1942 Harley that (aside from her four children) is her pride and joy.  Sandie loves to work in the garden, collect Crystals, and look after her family and their dog. She strongly believes in freedom, justice and peace for all mankind.



  1. ndibs

    June 19, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Upholder of law???

    Hi Sandie,

    While I recognise that there are some reservations and a need to address the constraints a restrictions for the regulators and administrators of this legislation, I am somewhat taken aback by your flagrant breach of law by riding around without a helmet.

    As you have an obvious disregard for any legislation that doesn't personally appeal to you narrow viewpoint, I feel that any valid contribution that you may have will be tainted.


    • mjt

      June 19, 2009 at 5:59 am

      be fairdincum

      I would like to point out to ndibs just because this person is photo graphed on a motorbike with no helmet doesn't mean she is riding the motorbike.

      to take this a step further as you assume this person is breaking the law which she may or may not be the same errors could made with this legislation. if it walks like a duck,quacks like a duck,looks like a duck it could also be someone impersonating a duck.

      • sandie perry

        June 19, 2009 at 6:20 am

        Freedom of Association & Human Rights

        Dear mjt – BE FAIRDINCUM –  Thankyou for your comment – I really like your reasoning! It makes a very valid point.   Thanks for being FairDincum.

    • sandie perry

      June 19, 2009 at 6:07 am

      Freedom of Association & Human Rights

      To ndibs – UPHOLDER OF THE LAW?? …Thankyou for taking the time to read my Blog.  Just to clarify a point for you about my riding with no helmet – NO LAW WAS BROKEN – The photo was taken on a private road, by a professional photographer for a magazine.

      As for any narrow mindedness you have pointed out – well – maybe next time you shouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions, assumptions and/or judgement when you could well be wrong.  – Have a nice day!  

  2. Philthy

    June 19, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Freedom of Association

    Well written Sandie. It was interesting to note that following a recent meeting of Australian Attorneys General, the West Australian Attorney General Christian Porter made the comment that the proposed "Anti Bikie Laws" in SA (and subsequently other states) would be impossible to enforce if an Australian "Bill of Rights" was enacted.  Surely this is a fair indication that these "laws" are a breach of international human rights, whether an "Australian" Bill of Rights is in place ot not. There is a fair bit going on in WA at the moment and it appears that WA will take the "worst" of the existing eastern states laws and target them directly, and only, against west australian "bikies", thus not upsetting the mindless masses that couldn't give a rats. In the end apathy will be our biggest enemy . . . .


    • sandie perry

      June 19, 2009 at 12:42 pm

      Freedom of Association & Human Rights
      Dear Philthy – Thanks for your comments, yes – it is an interesting fact about the International Human Rights – Lets hope somebody else realises this before Australia is shamed by the United Nations.  Hopefully WA will have more integrity and use the criminal procedures all ready in place.  Could be that it"s to sidetrack us from the corruption running rife on the news most nights!   Let's hope apathy doesn't win hey!

    • bohunkus

      June 20, 2009 at 1:16 pm

      Freedom of Association & Human Rights

      Well said Sandie! This outrageous South Australia legislation, entitled the Serious Crime Control Act 2009 has nothing to do with bikies at all. It introduces most of the worst features  of Commonwealth anti-terror legislation  It has and is the last step towards a "secret police" state. It has been upheld by the High Court!

      It makes provision for secret material gathered from secret police informers and other less reputable sources to be labelled as "Crminal  Intelligence" and to be submitted in secret to the judge, but is NOT to be revealed to th defence or anyone charged. There will be no cross-examination or disclosure permitted, and no possilble way of checking on it's reliability or source[s]. It may well be malicious gossip, lies, hearsay, absolute drivel, or just plain mistaken! It means that an accused can be covicted, without even  hearing the evidence against him much less having the chance to prove it wrong. In other words, a "kangaroo court".It's most famous example was the Drefus Cas in France, and is a direct copy of the Spanish Inquisition and the Gestapo. This disgraceful legislation is now being copied by Victoria, NSW, & WA. What price freedom now?

      • sandie perry

        June 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

        Freedom of Association & HumanRights
        Dear bohunkus – "Freedom of Association & Human Rights"   Thankyou for responding to my blog – Yes you are right – A "Kangaroo Court" indeed!  What a shame though for the judiciary of Australia.

  3. The Joker

    June 23, 2009 at 8:45 am

    An Aussie veiw

    G'day Sandie,

    Good on ya and congratulations on using your own initiative and passion and succeeding in getting your views and opinions on this discriminatory style of legislation, that allows inhumane forms of punishment to be issued unfairly at the discretion of an individual of the Executive (Government) where the Judges (Courts) limited role in providing fair and justifiable conditions with reasoning becomes insignificant, represented in a report that will be handed to the Government in August.

    Unfortunately it appears there is a lack of public awareness of this process and the rare opportunity that this instant moment presents. I also assume the public fails to clearly recognise that a Bill of Rights is the only safeguard capable of arresting the Government from introducing laws allowing obscene powers to be inflicted unfairly that encourage corrupt activities.

    Would it be fair to say that the public would not be aware of how this law could affect them also, possibly with consequences?

    The first comment you received makes an accusation "breaking the law" based on an assumption that you were riding on a public road in an uncontrolled environment and suggesting that you were committing a criminal act and should be subject to a criminal penalty.

    Lucky for you it was only a comment. But that is what these new laws rely upon-hearsay, affidavits and secret evidence. So if you ever wonder how some of your basic human rights got taken away unfairly? Seriously consider the socially deprived environment within Australia that stands to be passed on to our children and their families? How does that commentator expect integrity and respect when they concentrate on making malicious accusations from personally conjured assumptions determined to reduce an individuals level of credibility? Particularly repulsive when these type of actions are enshrined under the discriminatory legislation the author is concerned about.

    Love and respect.

    The Joker

    • sandie perry

      June 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm

      An Aussie View/Freedom of Association & Human Rights

      Dear "The Joker" – AN AUSSIE VIEW

      Thankyou so much for taking the time to read my blog and for your comments – you are clearly a most kind soul.  Your comments make an extremely good point also, especially with regard to our children and future generations.  Whilst in the here and now we can stand and fight these draconian laws (and I whole heartedly believe this is a battle that can be won) however if in the event that fails, what sort of message is the government sending to our young people – Do As We Say, Not As We Do and/or Don't Speak or Associate with Anyone Unless We Decide You Can!    This is only going to breed contempt and throw Respect right out of the window.  It will also aspire to the belief that as human beings we have no rights and as an outcome of this I believe that will be the most detrimental element to the nation.  Why would anyone care anymore about anything if our inherent dignity and rights are taken away – That sort of mentality is what will really incite terrorism and chaos in the future.  Very repulsive indeed.

      And Yes – I think it would be fair to say that the public are not aware of how they may be affected by these laws and the consequences that will extend from them.   At the end of the day – it really is a small world!

      Anyway – Luckily there is The Human Rights Committee who are intelligent enough to listen to reason and not sit on their backsides (like some – trying) to be Judge, Jury AND Executioner.   So let's soldier on!!

      Love and Respect to you too Mr Joker,


  4. Mazimbwe

    June 25, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Posted in Convention on Human Rights thread too
    Once again the Govt ignores it's obligations to its citizens in favour of quick fixes. Rather than being able to prosecute criminals for breaching laws the State Governments of Australia seem hell bent on creating new laws to prosecute people because the police/politicians need to be seen to be doing something. Time and again the police and politicians have proved themselves to be untrustworthy/crooked/negligent in their duties but rather than address these issues, or the social injustices that lead to acts of crime, the "powers that be" seek to demonize select members/groups within society in order to pass legislation that erodes the rights of all members of the public. I would dearly love to have my rights protected by legislation that stops these desperate people looking to ensure they get another term of employment or an easy prosecution because they are unable to do their job properly. Convictions via public opinion, through police Dept. media liaison officers, have become the norm and demonizing all members of a group is OK as long as it is across the board. So if all bikies are criminals then all police must be paedophiles who receive bribes and all politicians are bra-snapping, chair-sniffers who get kick-backs and rought their expense allowances.

    • sandie perry

      June 25, 2009 at 1:22 pm

      Freedom of Association & Human Rights

      Dear Mazimbwe, – POSTED IN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS THREAD TOO – Thankyou for posting your comments – Such a true statement you say about the Police and Politicians proving themselves to be untrustworthy/crooked/negligent in their duties.  There always seems to be something about it in the papers or on the news each day – that seems to be the norm – and yet – surprise surprise, we rarely get to see the follow up as to what the consequences were for their actions – when are they held accountable?  They must have a very big rug in the big office to sweep all that dirt under!  Somewhere along the way they're gonna have to trip over it!

      Regards,  Sandie

  5. SaferNorthbridge

    June 25, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    About respecting the UN

    There were a number of comments in this thread that mentioned the UN.

    What is our track record like when it comes to respecting decisions made at the UN? 

    Let's consider what Toowoomba's "N-word" stadium defender, the legendary John McDonald. This pillar of the rugby league stated that

    "He (E.S. Brown) was Toowoomba's first Kangaroo and a leading citizen and whether it's another sign or a statue, we'll be including his name as he was and that's Nigger Brown."

    The UN court indicated that Toowoomba should remove the offending signage ("The E.S. "Nigger" Brown Stand") though one of our High Court judges had declared that the word "Nigger" was no more offensive than "Pinky" when used in the context of the signage.

    Should we all rejoice for we are young and free? Or should we take a long hard look at our history and advance Australia's reputation by taking human rights seriously.

    Will the Bikie Laws be interpreted by judges who might equate "Nigger" with "Pinky"?

    SaferNorthbridge defends the police's position on organised crime, but not everyone who straddles a bike peddles ecstacy and speed, surely.

    Are our members suddenly criminals because we seek to represent the interests of all business holders, residents and other stakeholders in Northbridge whether they be Bikies, Aborigines or "New Australians"? 

    For the record I have spoken with Sandie Perry in person on one occasion, once by phone and communicated with her by email twice. I hope that these acts do not make me a criminal. 


    • sandie perry

      June 25, 2009 at 3:53 pm

      Freedom of Association & Human Rights

      To SaferNorthbridge (John Lamerand) ABOUT RESPECTING THE UNITED NATIONS: Thanks for taking the time out to post your comments – you've made some interesting observations – one of which "not everyone who straddles a bike peddles ecstasy or speed, surely"  Absolutely true – in the same manner that not everyone who wears a uniform or suit and tie, teaches at a school or preaches in a church is an undercover drug dealer or a pedophile.

      I also agree that Australia should advance its reputation and take Human Rights seriously.

      For the record John, I have spoken to you on one occassion – very briefly at a Human Rights Round Table gathering, and twice (extremely brief) emails.  We have not spoken by phone at all.  I am at a loss as to why you might think that would in some way make you a criminal?

      Regards, Sandie

  6. Ernie

    June 25, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Speak up Australia

    G'day Sandie,

    Firstly I would like to congradulate you on your Human Rights Submission. I too, like many, feel the same. It is very difficult for the "working class " to grasp the complexities involved with our Governments. I think you did a great job.

    I , like many, am a "working class" Australian that has up to now been sitting on his hands watching various politicians and governments of Australia legislating our human rights away. Weilding a powerful propaganda machine, based on misinformation, not seen since the Second World war to implement their changes (Made easy by targeting a class of people who have made little comment in their defence). Waiting for our Civil Liberty Groups, Law Societies and the Judiciary , the academics of our society, the protectors of our rights, to stand up and repel the invasion of our rights by the Government.

    Well I've waited long enough, the people upstanding have been few, they deserve our full hearted support and help. Now thanks to this opportunity I can start to voice my opinion and I hope it will entice the many like me, to stop waiting, we must let our voices be heard.

    I stand against the Governments endeavours to legislate our freedom, our way of life and our childrens future rights away. Prosecute the crime not the people!

    South Australia – Serious and Organised Crime (Control) Act 2008

    New South Wales – Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2009

    Queensland – Crime & Misconduct & Summary Offences Amendment Act 2009

    The Governments in various states have legislated and begun to legislate against bikies. All these pieces of legislation have been passed through the various parliaments as "Anti Bikie Laws" Strangeley enough Outlaw Motorcycle Club, Gang or even bikie is not mentioned in any of the Legislations. The fact is they are for all Australians.. In fact the South Australian Police commissioner revealed recently, 20th June 2009, that in fact these laws are for all.

    "organised crime" means activities of 2 or more persons associated together solely or partly for purposes in the pursuit of which 2 or more Schedule 1 offences are

    committed, the commission of each of which involves substantial planning and organisation;

    Western Australia-Criminal Investigation (Exceptional Powers) and Fortification Removal Bill 2001

    These legislations are unwarranted as current legislations and our current legal system have more than enough power to deal with any of the situations that the respective Governments have suggested the need for. In fact if you look at the NSW legislation, (a legislation that went through both houses in one day, unbeleleivable). As the legislation was invoked there was a large amount of arrests made. None had anything to do with the new piece of legislation, it has not been acted on as yet, but with existing laws.

    These legislations even prohibit people from engaging in their employment in various trades and services. How can you on one hand brand them all criminals and then on the other deprive them of an income? Last time I looked it wasn't illegal to be in the motor repair industry . Surely it would be in our best interest that people can go to work to make an honest otherwise aren't we forcing them to make money from other means? After all everyone has to put food on the table.

    These legislations promote the use of secret evidence, conviction based on the "balance of probabilities" and control orders. These legislations have been enacted so as to create precedents for the use of secret evidence, "the burden of proof" and control orders so these principles can be leached into our current legal system. Based on the "burden of proof" and full disclosure. There tentacles will spread throughout our legal system

    Control orders and secret evidence had been, up to now, used in the UK. However a full panel of nine law lords made a unanimous decision recently that control orders could not be issued on secret evidence alone.

    In his judgment, Lord Hope of Craighead, said: "The principle that the accused has a right to know what is being alleged against him has a long pedigree . . . a denunciation on grounds that are not disclosed is the stuff of nightmares. The rule of law in a democratic society does not tolerate such behavior." "the slow creep of complacency must be resisted" and that to protect the rule of law, courts must insist the person affected be told what is alleged against them.

    Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the senior law lord, said the case raised wider concern than the treatment of the three men. "If the wider public are to have confidence in the justice system, they need to see that justice is done rather than being asked to take it on trust,"  he said. "A trial procedure can never be considered fair if a party to it is kept in ignorance of the case against him."

    Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: "Today's unanimous ruling clearly states that control orders are a fundamental infringement of human rights and an affront to British justice. It is unacceptable to deny a person freedom without even telling them what they are suspected of.

    "We do not need to sacrifice the freedoms we have fought so hard for. We must not become what we are fighting. This discredited regime should be scrapped immediately. The government should focus instead on making it easier to prosecute terrorists by making intercept evidence available in court."

    There is, as one Law Lord explained, an easy way in which the Government could ensure that control orders are legal: opt out of the Convention on Human Rights. But the Government has been "unwilling to face up to whatever may be the political consequences" of taking that step..

    The Law Lords quoted the European Court: we are bound by its decisions, and that Court has elevated the right of the accused to be informed of the detailed evidence against him into an absolute principle that cannot be compromised.

    Lord Lloyd of Berwick, a former Law Lord who reviewed terror legislation in the 1990s, told peers "In particular the defendant must know, if he is to have a fair trial, the case that he has to meet".

    Secret evidence undermines the tradition of open justice this country is famous for. It is unreliable, unfair, undemocratic, unnecessary and damaging to the integrity of Australia's courts. I believe they contravene the following articles of the Universal declaration of Human Rights.

    Article 7 : All are equal before the law and are entitled without discrimination to

    equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any

    discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such


    Article 10 : Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an

    independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and

    obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

    Article 11 (1) : Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed

    innocent until proven guilty according to law in a public trial at which he

    has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

    I also thought we processed people through our legal system and punished the guilty  accordingly, based on weight of evidence. They were then sentenced and hopefully rehabilitated. Their punishment dealt with they were encouraged to re-enter society. They are deemed to have paid their price for their indiscretion. Why should they be penalized for the rest of their life? These legislations penalize innocent people for the rest of their lives, guilt by association..

    I have experience with Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs. I have found, for the most part, they are as they portray. Like minded men with a passion for motorcycles and partying. As we know there is good and bad in all walks of life. We have corporate high flyers that drive our economy forwards whilst operating within safe boundaries and those that steal and mislead us. We have religious bodies that take care and promote faith amongst us and those among them that desicrate that faith. We have police that serve and protect us and of course we have those that destroy that in so many ways. Just like Mark Standen the assistant director for the NSW crime commission and his involvement with a 120 million dollar ice importation. Good and bad are in all walks of life.

    I have come to the conclusion, in order to safeguard our human rights, we need a Bill of Rights.

    • sandie perry

      June 26, 2009 at 6:28 am

      Freedom of Association & Human Rights

      Dear Ernie – SPEAK UP AUSTRALIA – Thankyou very much for your comments and contribution to this cause.  You have put forward a very interesting submission here.  Thanks also for the reference to the House of Lords judgment – I was reading thru this but my computer froze for a while, so I will get back to it tonight!  What I have read so far is extremely interesting and for me, it verifies my thoughts on the matter of control orders.  I hope that the South Australian Supreme Court Judges are aware of the ruling.  In my view the ruling cannot logically be denied or defied in any court in any land.  I would recommend this article to other interested people to read.

      As the deadline for online submissions closes today I hope that everyone who cares will remain interested and staunch enough to follow this through in any way they can against these unwarranted legislations and as you say Ernie – Let our voices be heard.

      All the best, Sandie