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LRSJ COVID-19 and the Rule of Law Blog

Constitutionality of Virtual Parliament in Australia

Kriti Mahajan and Vy Tsan* Following five months without Parliament, suspensions will be further extended due to the recent escalations of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sittings were due to return from August 11, however, they have now been cancelled with the Prime Minister writing to the Leader of Opposition requesting cancellation on the basis of medicalContinue reading “Constitutionality of Virtual Parliament in Australia”

Silencing Dissent: The Impact of Banerji on Public Service Debate of COVID-19 Response

Andrew Ray and Arabella Young* Rigorous public debate is generally seen as positive for democracy, allowing individuals to make informed decisions regarding who to vote for, and which policy positions they support. In the case of public servants, however, the 2019 Banerji ruling, along with strict state and federal public service codes of conduct, preventsContinue reading “Silencing Dissent: The Impact of Banerji on Public Service Debate of COVID-19 Response”

The Challenge Posed by Victorian Tower Lockdowns

Dilan Thampapillai, Yasmin Poole and Andrew Ray* Has the burden of the Covid-19 pandemic been shared equally in Australia? Has the response from federal and state governments been in keeping with community attitudes and expectations? The hard lockdown of public housing units in Melbourne would suggest that the impact on ethnic communities and lower socio-economicContinue reading “The Challenge Posed by Victorian Tower Lockdowns”

Absence of Accountability? Parliament Shutdown Indicates Need for Online Sittings

Andrew Ray and Alexandra Touw* 1. Introduction As a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 cases continues to spike in Victoria, the Federal Parliament has cancelled its next two sitting weeks, originally scheduled for the beginning of August. This precaution is wise, and is supported by both the opposition and medical advice. It does however raise accountabilityContinue reading “Absence of Accountability? Parliament Shutdown Indicates Need for Online Sittings”

COVID-19 and Accountability: Shining a Spotlight on the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC)

Mia Stone* The Government’s hand-picked COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) has, with good reason, raised more than a few eyebrows. Hastily established at the height of the Australian coronavirus outbreak in March, it is ostensibly tasked with providing advice to government on the economic response to COVID-19 but is shrouded in secrecy and riddled with vestedContinue reading “COVID-19 and Accountability: Shining a Spotlight on the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC)”

DENYING AN ACCUSED THE RIGHT TO A JURY: QUESTIONS REMAIN REGARDING NOW REPEALED AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY COVID JURY LAWS

Andrew Ray and Aaron Bronitt* 1. Introduction In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on jury trials, states and territories implemented temporary laws allowing for increased use of judge-alone trials. While most jurisdictions implemented laws expanding the use of voluntary judge-alone trials,[1]  the ACT Legislative Assembly went a step further and allowed judgesContinue reading “DENYING AN ACCUSED THE RIGHT TO A JURY: QUESTIONS REMAIN REGARDING NOW REPEALED AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY COVID JURY LAWS”

THE BATTLE OF THE BORDERS: WHEN CAN STATES DENY YOU ENTRY?

Andrew Ray and Mia Stone* 1. Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has required rapid response by governments worldwide, including in Australia. As Australia’s national cabinet sprung into action, a range of measures were The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many states and territories around Australia to close their borders to interstate travellers. All jurisdictions bar NewContinue reading “THE BATTLE OF THE BORDERS: WHEN CAN STATES DENY YOU ENTRY?”

COVID, SAFE? PROPORTIONALITY AND SURVEILLANCE OF THE GOVERNMENT TRACING APP

Andrew Ray and Yasmin Frost* 1. Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has required rapid response by governments worldwide, including in Australia. As Australia’s national cabinet sprung into action, a range of measures were introduced by the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments in an effort to flatten the curve.[1] At a national level this included theContinue reading “COVID, SAFE? PROPORTIONALITY AND SURVEILLANCE OF THE GOVERNMENT TRACING APP”

IS THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY’S COVID-19 RESPONSE PRIVACY-SAFE?

Andrew Ray 1. Introduction Our rush to flatten the curve and be “COVIDSafe” could trigger serious privacy concerns. While the ANU has walked a careful line in recommending, but not mandating the downloading of the COVIDSafe app, there remains a significant lack of clarity regarding the information that staff and students are required to recordContinue reading “IS THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY’S COVID-19 RESPONSE PRIVACY-SAFE?”


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