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Tuesday, 15 June 2010

When justice is not seen to be done | The Australian

When justice is not seen to be done | The Australian: "Sandro Totani is a member of the Finks motorcycle gang whose lawyers are attempting to persuade the court that South Australia's Serious and Organised Crime (Control) Act - the model for anti-bikie laws in several states - is unconstitutional.
Totani had a win in the first leg of the case last year, when a full bench of the Supreme Court found the law was invalid because it compelled the courts to accept secret evidence they couldn't review.
The judges said this made them 'an instrument of the executive' and 'destroyed the court's integrity'. The court ruled that the right of an accused person to know the evidence against them is 'fundamental to the rule of law'.
The South Australian government is now seeking to have that judgment overturned and its law reinstated.
The hearing has become an important test case, with the attorneys-general of NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory and the commonwealth all intervening to support the use of secret evidence. All of them face the risk of laws being overturned if criminal intelligence is declared unconstitutional."

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