Two’s company, three’s a crowd, twelve is “out of control”

partiesThe Queensland government has introduced a new bill to crack down on “out of control” parties.

Under the new measures organisers of a party could potentially face a year in jail or a $12,100 fine.

This new government crackdown is yet another response to needless hysteria and a classic example of legislative duplication. As the IPA’s Chris Berg explains:

Everything that makes an out-of-control party out-of-control is illegal already. It is already illegal to be drunk and disorderly. It is already illegal to riot. It is already illegal to harass pedestrians, use indecent language, breach the peace, be a public nuisance, threaten another person, throw a bottle, damage property, assemble unlawfully, supply minors with alcohol, fight, show your private parts in public, be a hoon, light fireworks, endanger the safety of another individual, litter, trespass, and be excessively noisy.

In addition, the laws are remarkably restrictive. Under the bill, a “party” is a gathering of twelve or more people. Twelve. Christ himself entertained more people than that over dinner.

The move is symptomatic of a growing trend among state governments to grant law enforcement agents far greater reach than otherwise acceptable in a free society. As Chris explains:

not all statutes are enforced equally  The police, and their prosecutors, have an enormous amount of discretion about what laws they chose to focus on… No matter how many rules we impose on police work, discretion is inevitable. Inevitable but not desirable… No free society should rest their liberties on the discretion of the agents of the state.

You can read more on the issue here.


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