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An Act to provide for the reduction of gang related activity

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Added on: 2022-08-20 00:00:00
Order Code: 441444
Question Task Id: 0
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Consider the following hypothetical scenario and hypothetical legislation:

In response to increasing anti-social behaviour in the western suburbs of Darwin, the Northern Territory government introduced new legislation into Parliament to attempt to curb the problem. In the second reading speech of the Anti-Social (Gang Prevention) Bill the Minister said:

The Government has recognised the ever-growing problem of gang related violence in certain areas of the Northern Territory. In response to community concern, the government has introduced this Bill to provide stiff penalties for gang members, or in fact any person, who possesses a prohibited weapon in public. However, the Government recognises that some people may have legitimate reasons to carry such weapons and there is a mechanism to allow for that. Further, the government is also introducing strong penalties for those convicted of violent offences causing harm resulting from gang related activities.

The Bill gained assent from the Administrator on 1 October 2021.

Anti-Social (Gang Prevention) Act

An Act to provide for the reduction of gang related activity

1. Short Title

This Act may be cited as the Anti-Social (Gang Prevention) Act.

2. Definitions

gang means a group of individuals, juveniles or adults, who associate on a continuous basis, form an allegiance for a common purpose, and are involved in delinquent or criminal activity.

harm means physical harm to a person by cutting, stabbing or wounding that person.

knife means a knife blade, razor blade or any other sharp metallic object.

public place means a place that is open to the public, or used by the public, whether or not on payment of money, whether or not the place is ordinarily so open or used,and whether or not the public to whom the place is so open, or by whom the place is so used, consists only of a limited class of persons.

weapon means a gun, knife, baton or any other thing capable of causing harm.

3. Offence to possess a weapon

(a) It is an offence to be in possession of a weapon whilst in the vicinity of a public place.

Penalty: $1000 fine.

(b) It is an offence for a person, who is a member of a gang, either alone, in company with members of the gang, or whilst engaged in gang activities, to be in possession of a weapon in the vicinity of a public place.

Penalty: $5000 fine or 6 months imprisonment

4. Harm to persons

A person who causes harm to another in circumstances where that person is a member of a gang and the harm is caused in circumstances of gang related behaviour, commits an offence and is liable to 2 years imprisonment.

5. Permissions

A person may apply in writing to the Minister for permission to carry a weapon in the vicinity of a public place. Where such permission is granted a person does not commit an offence for the purposes of section 3(a) of this Act.

You are the duty solicitor at the Darwin Local Court. You are advised that two persons (William and Kate; see below) have been charged under the Anti-Social (Gang Prevention) Act following police crackdown.

The following sworn statements have been submitted by William and Kate.

Statement of William

I am six foot three, heavily bearded and tattooed and am 40 years old. On 6 October 2021 I was arrested as I was walking through the local park in the suburb I live in. I was carrying my favourite baseball bat, which has two rusty nails sticking out the end which I hammered in to stop the end splitting any further. I was wearing my red and white bandanna and my shirt on which has written on it Hells Angels B.T. I was just going to play a game of baseball with the Hells Angels Baseball Team of which I am a team member. The Police know that the Hells Angels Baseball Team plays baseball but they suspect that we are a gang that traffic drugs but they've got not evidence. The police charged me under s 3(b) of the Act. I want to plead not guilty.

Statement of Kate

I am a 52 year old grandmother and keen supporter of my local soccer club. Every week, me and my friends, known as the Grumpy Grannies attend the club game at a local oval. I always get dressed up in club colours. On 6 October 2021 after a bad referee decision, the other Grumpy Grannies and I started waving our hands in the air in protest of the bad decision. At that time I was also knitting a scarf in club colours with two metal knitting needles. I was waving my hands around with the knitting needles in my hands when I accidently stuck one of the needles into the arm of a spectator. There was a little bit of blood. The Police came over and arrested me and charged me under s 3(a) and s 4 of the Act. I want to plead not guilty.

Your task: You could be called upon to act for William and Kate.

With reference to the Act, the facts set out in the above statements, and the principles of statutory interpretation, outline the arguments you could make in both Williams defence and Kates defence. Do not make up facts in addition to those provided here and provide separate arguments for each client.

Use the IRAC method and statutory interpretation law only to start preparing your arguments. (that means do not use any other kinds of law including constitutional or other areas of law or defences under criminal law)

  • Uploaded By : Abhi
  • Posted on : June 15th, 2022
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