A COURT ruling has cast doubt on police powers to randomly pull over motorists, the ABC has reported.
Two African men were stopped by police in Ascot Vale last year, one man was charged with assault when the situation escalated.
A Melbourne magistrate has now ruled the Road Safety Act does not give police the unfettered power to stop motorists without suspicion.
Magistrate Duncan Reynolds ruled "there is no common law power vested in police giving them the unfettered right to stop or detain a person and seek identification details".
"Nor, is s.59 of the (Road Safety) Act a statutory source of such power," he said.
The lawyer representing one of the men, who is fighting assault allegations, Tamar Hopkins, says the decision will have ramifications.
"At present, we understand they're (police) told to go out and stop as many cars as they can," she said.
"This ruling says you can't do that. You must stop cars when there is in fact a reason. Random stops are in fact not lawful."