Sample Letter to MP - United Motorcycle Council of QLD

Sample Letter to MP - United Motorcycle Council of QLD

Unread postby lazerzap » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:21 am

Dear Mr/Ms _____________,

I want to place on record my objection to the State Government’s plans to hand police massive new powers to target and harass individuals, and to take away some of the most basic protections in our legal system. I also object to the secrecy with which this has been done, and the government’s refusal to hear the concerns of Queenslanders, and its broken promise over public consultation on the draft laws.

Instead of punishing people for the things they have done wrong, these laws will punish people for who their friends are and what the police claim they might do in the future. This is a serious reversal of the legal traditional that says people are innocent until proven guilty. Similar laws in other states have also stripped away the requirements of open and fair trials, proof beyond reasonable doubt, the right to know and respond to evidence against you, and the right of appeal.

This is why so many senior legal and political figures – including members of the Bligh Government, the CMC, the Law Society and even the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions – have spoken out against these types of laws. All these groups and individuals agree that such laws upset the careful balance in our legal system between the power of the state and the rights of the individual. Many have also expressed concerns that giving Queensland Police extra powers at a time when we regularly hear about abuses of existing powers will only lead to an increase in corruption.

The Government has cleverly covered up its plan to go back to a 1970s approach to civil rights and accountability by claiming it is all about “targeting bikies”. But these laws are going to take away the rights of all Queenslanders, and can be used against any group the police or government decide to target. This is not the way justice should be run in Australia.

While it is easy for politicians to give the glib answer that if you’re not a criminal you have nothing to fear, this overlooks the basic fact that it should be the courts – not politicians or police – that determine who is a criminal. When you cut away the safeguards that protect individuals from abuses of power in the court system, and hand massive new powers to the police and politicians, average citizens can have no faith in the process.

So I am asking you to examine closely the details of these laws when the Government finally ends the secrecy and tells Queenslanders exactly what it has in mind. Although the vast bulk of MPs in the Parliament will just vote as their party bosses tell them to, we hope that you will at least look seriously at these laws. I ask you to:

Compare the processes they involve with the expectations most Queenslanders would have of our legal system;

Consider whether it is appropriate in a democratic state to remove powers from the courts and give them to police and politicians;

Think about how police used their powers in the 1980s to silence political dissent in this state;

Speak out if you have concerns about how these laws will allow police to target any group of citizens, without the normal safeguards of the legal system; and

Vote against this decrease in public accountability and police scrutiny.

Yours sincerely,

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