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Terms of reference

Taskforce into organised crime legislation 2015

The Taskforce will note the Queensland Government’s intention to repeal, and replace the 2013 legislation, whether by substantial amendment and/or new legislation, and will advise:

  • if provisions in the 2013 legislation are effectively facilitating the successful detection, investigation, prevention and deterrence of organised crime;
  • if provisions in the 2013 legislation are effectively facilitating the successful prosecution of individuals;
  • if the 2013 legislation strikes an appropriate balance between ensuring the safety, welfare and good order of the community and protecting individual civil liberties, including in relation to the anti-association provisions in the 2013 legislation; and
  • how best to replace or amend the 2013 legislation, in accordance with the Queensland Government’s election commitments.

The membership of the Taskforce consists of senior representatives from the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, the Queensland Police Service, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, the Queensland Police Union, the Queensland Police Commissioned Officers’ Union of Employees, the Queensland Law Society, the Bar Association of Queensland and the Public Interest Monitor. The Taskforce is to be convened and chaired by Mr Alan Muir Wilson.

The Taskforce is also to develop a new offence of ‘serious organised crime’, having regard to these terms of reference.

In undertaking this reference, the Taskforce will:

  1. review the provisions in the following legislation:
    • Criminal Law (Criminal Organisations Disruption) Amendment Act 2013;
    • Tattoo Parlours Act 2013;
    • Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act 2013;
    • Criminal Law (Criminal Organisations Disruption) and Other Legislation Act 2013; and
    • Criminal Code (Criminal Organisations) Regulation 2013.
  2. consider the prosecution of persons charged with committing a criminal offence/s or an aggravated offence/s created by the 2013 legislation by: 
    • noting the results of bail applications and the reasons given for the bail determinations (where reasons are available);
    • noting the details of time served in prison on remand by defendants and for what charges;
    • noting the outcomes of relevant prosecutions including any sentence imposed;
    • noting the delay of prosecutions pending the outcome in Kuczborski v The State of Queensland [2014] HCA 46; and
    • noting the reasons why some prosecutions did not result in a conviction.
  3. analyse and inquire into the necessity of, amendments to occupational licensing requirements (including provisions in the Tattoo Parlours Act 2013 as passed), made by the 2013 legislation (including commenced and uncommenced provisions; and provisions that may have since been repealed); and
  4. with regards to paragraph 3 above, note the Queensland Government’s view that it is desirable: to have a consistent multi-industry ‘fit and proper person’ test; that facilitates the prevention of industries being manipulated for criminal purposes; and ensures individuals are not prohibited from holding an industry licence on the basis of mere association.
  5. with regards to paragraph 3 above, inquire into the number of individuals refused a licence, permit or authority as a result of the ‘identified participant’ provisions of the 2013 legislation.
  6. inquire into whether the introduction of the 2013 legislation has had any impact on crime rates and community safety in Queensland.
  7. note the Queensland Government’s intention that the new ‘serious organised crime’ offence will carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and any person convicted of this offence would serve a mandatory minimum non-parole period of 80% of their term of imprisonment or 15 years imprisonment, whichever is the greater.
  8. have regard to the report and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into organised crime in Queensland in so far as it is relevant to these Terms of Reference.
  9. have regard to the decisions of the High Court of Australia in the matters of Kuczborski v The State of Queensland [2014] HCA 46 and Assistant Commissioner Michael James Condon v Pompano Pty Ltd [2013] HCA 7.
  10. have regard to the recommendations of the statutory review of the Criminal Organisation Act 2009 which is required to commence as soon as practicable after 15 April 2015.
  11. have regard to the fundamental legislative principles contained in section 4 of the Legislative Standards Act 1992
  12. have regard to legislation in other jurisdictions that targets organised crime.

The Taskforce shall invite or receive submissions or information from external sources where it is relevant to these Terms of Reference, including but not limited to:

  • academics who have expertise in organised crime, particularly with reference to Queensland and who have current knowledge of domestic and international research on the efficacy of  legislative efforts to combat organised crime;
  • any persons holding expertise in matters relevant to these Terms of Reference;
  • any law enforcement, intelligence or prosecution agencies;
  • any Government department or agency; and
  • any individual, business, group, association or other entity that has been (or claims to have been) effected by the 2013 legislation.

Without limiting the scope of any recommendations the Taskforce may make, the recommendations should:

  • advise how best to repeal, or replace by substantial amendment, the 2013 legislation;
  • provide details of the form any proposed amendments should take and whether such amendment/s should have retrospective effect;
  • determine if new legislation or amending legislation is required to effectively fight organised crime in Queensland; and
  • determine the elements of the new ‘serious organised crime’ offence, including whether any defences or evidentiary provisions, specific to the new offence are required.

The Taskforce will provide its final report to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills on or before 31 March 2016.

Last reviewed
30 October 2015
Last updated
30 October 2015
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