A legal challenge to NSW Police powers at festivals was rejected in the Supreme Court on Friday.
Sniff Off took police to court seeking an injunction to prevent the implementation new rules including 'blanket refusal' around the use of sniffer dogs to counter drug use.
The court determined not to hear the matter because the case was considered ‘hypothetical.’
The decision comes after the NSW Police announced a sniffer dog-reliant approach to the upcoming Above and Beyond festival in Sydney this weekend, whereby anyone singled out by a sniffer dog will be denied entry – regardless of whether drugs are actually found.
Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said that the NSW Police are on notice for this weekend’s event.
“Young people should not be threatened with being refused entry just because a drug dog has falsely indicated the person is carrying drugs,” Mr Shoebridge said.
“While obviously it would be preferable to stop the police before they breach someone’s rights, we are fully prepared to have them back in court next week if they do,” he said.
Sniff Off launched a campaign to raise money for the legal challenge raising $4000 in 12 hours.
Mr Shoebridge said that he will be using all the funds to continue to challenge these laws in the court and provide assistance to young people.
Young Green Maddie Feledy is participating in Sniff Off’s campaign and plans to attend the festival on Saturday to show her support.
“The statistics on drug dog accuracy is enough to show the police the dogs' failure rate."
"This operation shows nothing more than the NSW Police using their power to punish young people, with absolutely no evidence to do so,” Ms Feledy said.
NSW Council for Civil Liberties president Stephen Blanks is disturbed that police are considering the operation.
“It’s going to arbitrarily exclude people who have not committed any crime and the community needs to make it clear that this is completely unacceptable,” Mr Blanks said.