Soraya Tighe 10 Smith
Assessment Item 2:
Today the ever expanding domination of criminal organisations are threatening the safety of our society, which has led to the revision of the 2009 COA laws and the introduction of the 2013 VLAD law. Both of these acts are similar with their objective of preventing crime throughout Queensland, however there are distinct features in both laws that raise concerns over their equality and adherence to fundamental tenets of justice. The unique circumstances that led to the controversial changes include: firstly, the manner by which the 2009 COA laws were revised, secondly, the stability of the separation of powers under the VLAD laws and finally the significant differences of both laws that impact their effectiveness in decreasing crime.
The main driving factor that led to the revision of the 2009 Criminal Organisation Act, to be altered to the 2011 Criminal Organisations amendment Act was the approval of information and evidence attained from other law enforcement agencies to be classified as criminal intelligence.
Said to have 'promoted lazy policing and the de-skilling of investigators' (BAQ Submission.), information taken from other agencies posed the risk of being inadmissible evidence, therefore giving the accused an unfair trial. The government stated in the legal document of the COA laws that they 'did not intend to diminish the freedom of powers under this act' (QLD Parliament. 2009), however certain factors of this law suggest otherwise. This act consisted of control orders that were applied to declared organisations to restrict their ability to associate. These control orders undermined the presumption of innocence, which striped the accused rights to procedural fairness. In summary, the COA laws diminished fundamental rights which lead to the revision of the law that made the 2011 Amendment Act.
The VLAD laws contain distinct features...