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Anti-bikie laws unconstitutional: High Court -

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STEVE CANNANE, PRESENTER: The High Court has handed down some other important decisions today.

In Adelaide it's ruled that South Australia's anti-bikie legislation is unconstitutional, in a
decision that could affect moves by other states to introduce similar laws.

The High Court agreed with gang members that a section which prevents bikies associating with one
another is in breach of the Constitution.

From Adelaide, Rebecca Brice reports.

REBECCA BRICE, REPORTER: Bikers of all denominations met to show their pleasure at the High Court's
ruling.

MICK MACPHERSON, FINKS SPOKESMAN: We knew that it was unjust and we're now the law-abiding citizens
and now they're the outlaws because they've written something which was illegal to start off with.

MIKE RANN, SA PREMIER: Any bikie, whether they're at the Talbot Hotel now, sinking a Jim Beam,
popping a pill or going out the back to fire up a bong, needn't celebrate too early.

REBECCA BRICE: The Government had appealed after two Finks raised the case in the South Australian
Supreme Court which ruled the section unconstitutional.

CRAIG CALDICOTT, LAWYER FOR FINKS: This is bigger than bikies. It's about your right to associate
with whomever you like whenever you like.

REBECCA BRICE: Six of the seven judges found the move to prevent bikies from meeting, phoning or
even writing to one another went too far. It amounted to enlisting magistrates to carry out the
wishes of the Police Commissioner.

Chief Justice Robert French said the section was repugnant. He said: "Courts and judges decide
cases independently of the executive government."

The Premier Mike Rann, who's built a reputation of being tough on crime, isn't smarting from the
loss; instead he's upping the ante.

MIKE RANN: My advice to the bikies is: if you celebrate now, wait and see what we're doing next.

JOHN RAU, SA ATTORNEY-GENERAL: There will be legislation in the Parliament within months which will
address all of the matters raised here.

REBECCA BRICE: The decision is expected to have implications for other states which joined the
action and have been planning or have introduced similar laws.

But not all states have taken the same approach.

JOHN HATZISTERGOS, NSW ATTORNEY-GENERAL: The issues that were the subject of the South Australian
decision are not issues which parallel in the New South Wales case.

REBECCA BRICE: In an extra blow, the South Australian Government will be forced to foot the bikies'
legal bills.

ISOBEL REDMOND, SA OPPOSITION LEADER: What is the estimated total cost to the taxpayer for the
failed Supreme Court and High Court challenges to the anti-bikie legislation?

'FERRET', FINKS MEMBER: Mike Rann has egg on his face now. He's used the - he lost in the Supreme
Court. He used taxpayers' money to try and wipe the egg off his face in the High Court.

TOM MACKIE, DESCENDANTS MOTORCYCLE CLUB: He'll go down in history as the Premier that united us,
politicised us and now legalised us. And that's not what he wanted to go down in history for.

REBECCA BRICE: The cost of the High Court action is expected to run into hundreds of thousands of
dollars.

Rebecca Brice, Lateline.