ESSENTIAL WORKERS CHALLENGE VACCINE MANDATES IN COURT

ESSENTIAL WORKERS CHALLENGE VACCINE MANDATES IN COURT

Vaccines have been a controversial issue since vaccinations become mandatory for essential workers.

Recent Challenges to Vaccine Mandates Failed

Background

In the NSW Supreme Court case, Al-Munir KASSAM v Bradley Ronald Hazzard (2021), Sydney construction worker Al-Munir Kassam and other plaintiffs argue that their rights to bodily integrity and freedom of movement were being impinged.

They challenged mandatory workplace vaccines and sought to remain in their industries despite not being vaccinated.

The plaintiffs argued that the order is legally unreasonable and Minister Hazzard has exceeding the scope of power granted to him by the Public Health Act. Therefore, they ask the Court to declare the public health order invalid and unconstitutional.

Judgment

On 15 October 2021, His Honour Robert Beech-Jones J dismissed the case and ruled that all grounds that the challenges to the NSW COVID-19 vaccination orders had failed. It did not violate the right to bodily integrity, as it did not authorise the involuntary vaccination of anyone. The NSW Government’s public health order was in line with legislative powers and will remain in force.

Fresh Challenges to Vaccine Mandates

On 25 October 2021, in Victoria, a Supreme Court trial has been set, as two Victorian teachers challenge the Victorian Government’s mandatory vaccination. They believe “no jab no work” is a breach of human rights and not legally or ethically justified.

On 4 November 2021, In NSW, two cases challenging the vaccine mandate will be heard at a trial in the Supreme Court.

  • John Larter, who is deputy mayor of Snowy Valleys region, lodged a Supreme Court challenge against the COVID -10 vaccine mandate arguing that the public health orders are not a proportionate response to risk.
  • Another legal challenge by Ibrahim Can is based on the requirement of showing proof of vaccination is an infringement on the right to silence and privilege against self -discrimination.

Key Takeaways

It is important to note that despite the NSW cases failing, it does not mean that further challenges will be unsuccessful. The legal challenges send an important message that Australians will challenge rules they believe are unfair.


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